In what pundits and pols are beginning to dub “a fight for the soul of the Republican Party,” Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump signaled last week they would be backing disparate candidates for Republican nominations for U.S. Senate seats in 2022.
McConnell, who vowed not to mention Trump’s name anymore, said he would be supporting Repubican candidates who are “electable.” Trump, in his much-reported salvo against McConnell last week, promised that “[w] here necessary and appropriate, I will back primary rivals who espouse Making America Great Again and our policy of America First.”
On Wednesday, two prominent women closely associated with Trump declared for open U.S. Senate seats in Ohio and Alabama.
Former State GOP Chairman Jane Timken declared Thursday for the Ohio seat being relinquished by Republican Sen. Rob Portman.
Promising to “fight for the Trump agenda, stop socialism dead in its tracks, and be a champion for all Ohioans,” the feisty Timkin proudly proclaimed herself a “mom and fighter” and one “who won’t stand back and let America become a Socialist country.”
Although Timken initially supported then-Ohio Gov. John Kasich for president in 2016, she boarded the Trump train while Kasich refused to support Trump in the general election. In January of ’17, President-elect Trump personally called members of the Buckeye State’s GOP Committee urging them to back Timken in her successful bid to unseat former Chairman Matt Borges.
The only other Republican in the Senate primary is former State Treasurer Josh Mandel, who lost a race for the Senate in 2006 and explored and abandoned a race for the Senate in ’12.
Alabama’s Lynda Blanchard, a Montgomery businesswoman who was Trump’s ambassador to Slovenia, became the first Republican to announce for the seat of retiring Sen. Richard Shelby on Wednesday.
“I’m a Christian conservative and business builder, a mother of eight wonderful children,” Blanchard declared in a three-minute video.”I’m a proud member of the MAGA movement. Like you, I’m grateful for the leadership and courage of our 45th president, Donald Trump.”
Several other Republicans are expected to jump into the primary to succeed Shelby, who is stepping down after 36 years. The senator is known to favor Katie Boyd Britt as his successor, formerly his top aide and now president of the Business Council of Alabama.
Considered the epitome of the business establishment in Alabama, Britt would be a natural candidate for McConnell to support.
“There will never be another Trump, but there will be Trump-like leaders and candidates,” said Saul Anuzis, president of the SixtyPlus Seniors Association and a former state GOP chairman in Michigan.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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