Half of Trump’s 2016 Ohio RNC delegates call Vance’s endorsement ‘betrayal’, ask him to ‘reconsider’

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FIRST ON FOX — Half of former President Donald Trump’s campaign Ohio delegates selected for the 2016 Republican National Convention (RNC) are asking Trump on Wednesday to “reconsider” his endorsement of JD Vance for the Senate.

A letter from the group with the request follows Trump’s endorsement of Vance on Friday, in which the former nominee called the investment banker and author of “Hillbilly Elegy” “the most qualified and winning candidate.” . It also comes after a similar letter signed by a slew of state and county GOP officials asking Trump not to endorse Vance, which Fox News first published shortly before the endorsement. .

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“While we appreciate the backlash you are receiving from your supporters for your endorsement of Vance, please understand that we are not your typical Republicans in Ohio,” the letter reads. “We are the original and proud ‘Trumpers’ who were your delegates in Ohio when everyone was against you or supported other candidates.”

“You trusted us in 2016 to do what was best for Ohio,” he continues. “We respectfully ask that you reconsider your endorsement of JD Vance to show your supporters in Ohio and our great states why we first believed in you in 2016.”

The letter is signed by 33 of the 66 total delegates who have been nominated to represent Trump at the 2016 RNC should he win the Ohio primary. Some of those delegates have since died, meaning the signatories to Wednesday’s letter represent the majority of that group.

TRUMP ENDORSES JD VANCE IN OHIO GOP SENATE PRIMARY

Former Ohio Gov. John Kasich won the state’s GOP presidential primary in 2016, meaning Trump’s designates didn’t get a chance to represent him at the RNC. But the signatories to the letter still represent some of the former president’s early supporters when much of the GOP was highly suspicious of him. And they point out that Vance was among those who strongly opposed Trump then.

“President Trump, this move is about America first. While JD Vance may have apologized and is now saying nice things about you (as candidate Vance) – the fact is that JD Vance is not is never once excused for working against our movement and especially for calling us – your original supporters – racists,” the letter reads.

“Unlike other candidates in this race, JD Vance has not developed the relationships with Republican voters and grassroots leaders that are crucial to winning. This endorsement by JD Vance is a betrayal not only to your supporters in Ohio , but also for Trump supporters in our great nation!” the letter continues.

OHIO REPUBLICAN CENTRAL COMMITTEE, MANY COUNTY GOP CHAIRPERSONS URGE TRUMP NOT TO ENDORSE SENATE RUNNER

In his endorsement released last week, however, Trump acknowledged Vance’s past comments and said he thinks the nominee has changed his mind.

“Like others, JD Vance may have said some not-so-good things about me in the past, but he gets it now, and I’ve seen it in spades,” Trump said. “He is our best chance of victory in what could be a very tough race.”

“I’ve studied this race closely and I think JD is most likely to take out the weak but dangerous Democratic opponent — dangerous because he’ll have so much money to spend,” Trump said. “However, JD will destroy him in the debates and fight for the MAGA movement in the Senate.”

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Vance is set to face a packed GOP field in the May 3 primary in Ohio. Other leading candidates include former Ohio GOP Chairwoman Jane Timken, investment banker Mike Gibbons, former Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandel and state Senator Mike Dolan. . The campaigns for Timken, Mandel and Gibbons have particularly struggled to convince Trump not to endorse a candidate in the race.

The winner of the Ohio GOP primary will likely face Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, in the general election.

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