COLUMBUS, Ohio — One of the most contentious and closely watched U.S. Senate primaries in the country takes place in Ohio.
Republicans will vote Tuesday to decide a race that’s an early referendum on former President Donald Trump’s hold on the GOP as the midterm primary season kicks into high gear.
Author and venture capitalist JD Vance is well positioned in the Republican race to replace retiring Republican Sen. Rob Portman after receiving Trump’s support. The bitter and expensive contest saw two candidates nearly come to blows on a debate stage.
The winner is likely to face 10-term Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan, who’s distanced himself from the progressive wing of his party ahead of what’s expected to be a brutal year for Democrats seeking to hold their congressional majorities.
Incumbent Republican Gov. Mike DeWine appears on track to secure his party’s nomination for another term.
And in Indiana, more than a dozen state House members are trying to hold off Republican primary challengers who want to push the Legislature further to the right.
Tuesday’s primary races mark the first multistate contest of the 2022 midterm season and will serve as the most clarifying test to date of Trump’s ongoing influence in his party more than a year after leaving office under the cloud of two impeachments and the Jan. 6 insurrection.
The midterm election season begins in earnest Tuesday with primaries in Indiana and Ohio. Ohio’s hotly contested Republican Senate race will test the enduring power of former President Donald Trump’s influence, as his endorsed candidate, JD Vance, competes against six others for the GOP nomination for the seat held by retiring Republican Sen. Rob Portman. Ohio’s Republican Gov. Mike DeWine also faces a primary challenge on Tuesday.
HERE’S WHAT TO WATCH:
2022 midterms: What to know about Ohio, Indiana primaries
Trump’s bid to shape GOP faces test with voters in May races
Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.