Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio), a rising conservative star who won a hard-fought race to replace retired Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), announced Tuesday that he will back Donald Trump in the 2024 Republican presidential primary.
Vance, who won Ohio’s competitive Senate Republican primary last year after receiving Trump’s endorsement, told radio host Hugh Hewitt “the simple fact is Donald Trump’s policies were incredibly good for this country and he’s very popular among Republican voters.”
“In Ohio Republican circles, I’d say well over half the people in our party want Trump to run and will vote for him in the primary if he does. You know, look, I’m planning to support the [former] president in ’24,” Vance said.
“I’m actually going to have an article come out here in the next couple of days that explains why,” he added.
Trump officially jumped into the 2024 presidential race in November. No other Republicans have announced their candidacies thus far.
Vance, a former venture capitalist and author of the best-selling book “Hillbilly Elegy,” told Hewitt that Trump “deserves a chance to govern again” and observed “Republican voters, a lot of them are on his side.”
The first-term senator aligned himself closely with Trump during last year’s Senate race, praising him as “the best president of my lifetime.”
Trump endorsed Vance in April, helping him beat businessman Mike Gibbons and former state Treasurer Josh Mandel in the primary.
Sen. JD Vance (R-Ohio) and former President Donald Trump on April 23, 2022, in Delaware, Ohio. (AP Photo/Joe Maiorana)
Vance’s endorsement comes a day after fellow first-term Sen. Eric Schmitt (R-Mo.) threw his support behind Trump as well.
“He’s very popular in Missouri,” Schmitt said of Trump in an interview with Politico. “He’s been somebody that’s gotten the support of Missourians by big margins a couple times. He has my support.”
And last weekend, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) announced strong support for the former president at a Trump event in South Carolina.
Graham argued that Trump’s policy triumphs while in office were a reflection of the former president’s character and personality.
“How many times have you heard: ‘We like Trump policies, but we want somebody new?’” Graham asked. “There are no Trump policies without Donald Trump.”
Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) endorsed Trump’s presidential bid in November.
“I might be his campaign manager,” he quipped to reporters on Capitol Hill at the time.