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Will Portman's endorsement matter in Trump's Republican Party?

Gage Skidmore
Senator Rob Portman

In this week's episode of Snollygoster, Ohio's politics podcast from WOSU, hosts Mike Thompson and Steve Brown discuss Sen. Rob Portman's endorsement of Jane Timken in the Republican primary for Ohio's open U.S. Senate seat.

Know your district

Today, February 17, is the Ohio Supreme Court deadline for the state house and state senate district maps. Right now, at the time of recording the podcast, no maps have been submitted. Will the Ohio Redistricting Commission meet the deadline? Will the maps be significantly different than the first two versions deemed unconstitutional? Will they win bi-partisan support and last for ten years? If the past is a prologue, that won’t be the case.

If the maps are not approved, things will get interesting. No one really knows what happens then. Then the state still has the congressional map to deal with.

Portman picks successor

Rob Portman has made his choice among the many Republicans running to succeed him. Jane Timken, the former head of the Ohio Republican Party, is his pick.

Portman says Jane Timken understands the needs of Ohioans and is the best candidate to advance GOP policies. The choice is a blow for state senator Matt Dolan who claims to be the candidate most like Rob Portman. Dolan brushed off the endorsement saying Portman picked Timken because he is friends with her.

Portman and Timken do go way back, but it still has to sting as Dolan is starting to gain a little bit of traction in the race. A new poll by the Trafalgar Group shows Dolan jumping ahead of Timken, although just barely. Here are the numbers.

In the poll, Josh Mandel leads with 21%. Next is businessman Mike Gibbons at 16%. Author JD Vance is third at 14%. Then comes Dolan at 10.2% and Timken at 9.8%.

So they are basically tied and a quarter of Republican primary voters remain undecided.

Snollygoster of the week

Secretary of State Frank LaRose once said claims of voter fraud were overblown. Now he says President Trump “has a point” when the former president claims voter fraud is a major problem.

LaRose tweeted this as his office found 27 possibly illegal votes cast in the 2020 election in Ohio. That's 27 possibly illegal votes out of 5.8 million votes cast, or 0.0005%.

Why might he be saying this? He has a primary opponent – former Ohio State Represenative John Adams – who says he has doubts about the legitimacy of the 2020 election.

Send questions and comments to snollygoster@wosu.org.