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Donald Trump rallies for Ohio Republicans in Mahoning Valley

Former President Donald Trump speaks at a rally for Ohio Republican candidates at the Covelli Centre in Youngstown on September 17, 2022.
Andy Chow
Statehouse News Bureau
Former President Donald Trump speaks at a rally for Ohio Republican candidates at the Covelli Centre in Youngstown on September 17, 2022.

Former president Donald Trump attracted thousands of people to an arena in Youngstown to rally for Ohio Republican candidates running for office in November.

The rally included U.S. Senate candidate J.D. Vance and other Republican congressional candidates. Gov. Mike DeWine, who’s running for re-election, did not make an appearance at the rally but he did meet Trump when he arrived at the airport.

As Trump addressed the crowd, he laid out a bleak description of the current state of America, saying violence is escalating and inflation is hurting families.

“If you want to continue this national catastrophe, vote for the radical left Democrats. Do it, go ahead, you won't have a country left. If you want to stop the destruction of America and really reinvigorate that good old fashioned American dream. You must vote Republican. Have to do it,” Trump said.

At several points Trump made sure to double down on his endorsement of Vance.

“Less than two months from now, the people of Ohio are going to vote to fire the radical left Democrats. You're going to send J.D. Vance to the U.S. Senate,” said Trump.

He also pushed back on reports that Vance had not asked him to come to Ohio, saying, “JD wants my support so bad. He’s kissing my ass.”

A few Trump allies were also in Youngstown, including U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Republican from Georgia, and Mike Lindell, CEO of MyPillow Inc.

Trump’s hour-long speech at the rally concluded with many attendees raising a one-fingered, one-handed salute as music played in the facility. The song has been described as a theme song for followers of the QAnon conspiracy theory.

The rally in Youngstown marked the first time Trump returned to the Mahoning Valley since he won the region and the state in the 2020 presidential election. It was his third visit to Ohio since leaving office.

Ohio Democratic Party Chair Liz Walters criticized Trump and Vance for holding a rally on a Saturday night, at the same time as an Ohio State University football game against the University of Toledo.

Walters said Vance is trying to hide his “extreme position” on abortion.

“But we won’t be fooled. If J.D. Vance had it his way, abortion would be banned nationally with no exceptions for rape or incest,” Walters said.

Vance did not mention the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade during his speech Saturday night.

Ohio Republican candidates are hoping to capture the same momentum for the party in counties like Mahoning and Trumbull in the November election. However, Vance’s Democratic opponent in the U.S. Senate race, Tim Ryan, has been running a campaign with a message geared towards moderates and an electorate that once voted for Democrats in the past.

It's the third visit Trump has made to Ohio since leaving office.

He appeared at theLorain County Fairgrounds in June 2021, supporting his former aide Max Miller, who was challenging northeast Congressman Anthony Gonzalez, who was among 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump after the January 6 insurrection. Trump also appeared at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in April, just after he endorsed Vance.

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