WASHINGTON — Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., is backing JD Vance in Ohio's crowded Republican Senate primary, his campaign announced on Tuesday.
"JD Vance is the conservative warrior that the entire America First movement needs fighting for us in the U.S. Senate, and that's why I'm proud to endorse him," said Greene, in a statement released by the Vance campaign.
Vance, a Marine veteran and venture capitalist known for his bestselling memoir, "Hillbilly Elegy," is a candidate in a contest that has revolved around former President Donald Trump, who won Ohio comfortably in 2016 and 2020. Vance raised more than $1 million in the last fundraising quarter of 2021.
In a statement to NBC News, Greene said she was "proud to endorse" Vance, touting his support for Trump and his criticism of mask and vaccine mandates.
She adds, "if you agree with me that Washington desperately needs more American first fighters in the mold of President Trump, then it's vital to support JD's campaign in Ohio."
The Buckeye State’s GOP Senate primary might be one of the most expensive contests of 2022 — even before factoring in the general election. Several wealthy candidates are fighting for the nomination to succeed Republican Sen. Rob Portman, who is not seeking re-election.
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Though Trump has yet to make an endorsement in the race, most of the leading candidates have been jockeying for his support. Josh Mandel, a former state treasurer and failed 2012 Senate candidate who has topped recent polls, has embraced the lie that the 2020 election was stolen. Vance and blockchain entrepreneur Bernie Moreno have flip-flopped away from past Trump criticism, while investment banker Mike Gibbons has praised Trump and taken shots at Vance's past criticism of the former president.
Robert O'Brien, Trump's last national security adviser, is also backing Vance.
This isn't the first endorsement Greene, a close Trump ally, has made in the 2022 race. She and other Trump-aligned members of Congress have endorsed several primary challengers to Republicans who voted to impeach Trump or who have otherwise pushed back against his election lies.
Given Ohio’s strong Republican lean — Trump won it twice by 8 percentage points, and Portman was re-elected in 2016 by more than 20 points — the GOP nominee will be heavily favored to win the general election.