DeWine does not endorse Trump: ‘My focus’ will be on local elections

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) declined to explicitly endorse former President Trump for 2024 on Sunday, instead saying that he would vote for the Republican at the ballot box.

DeWine, who has butted heads with Trump in Ohio’s GOP Senate primary where they have each endorsed dueling candidates, said his effort won’t be focused on the White House this year.

“I’ve always said that I will support the Republican nominee. I’m a Republican,” DeWine told CNN’s Dana Bash in a “State of the Union” interview. “But my focus this year is going to be on a lot of local races. And it’s going to be particularly focused on the United States Senate.”

“This is going to be a very close race in the fall,” he continued. “And, you know, we’re really going to focus on that. I mean, the polling clearly shows Trump is way ahead in the general election. So, I think the focus in Ohio is going to be on the Senate race.”

Trump endorsed businessman Bernie Moreno for the Buckeye State race, while DeWine backed state Sen. Matt Dolan. The two candidates are neck-and-neck in polling for the primary, which will be held Tuesday.

DeWine said he believes Dolan would be a stronger candidate against Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).

“I’ve had the opportunity to work with him in the state legislature. He knows how a legislative body works,” he said. “And you know, I think it’s important, we have to remember, we may be sending this person out of the Republican primary, who may serve six years or may serve 30 years in the United States Senate. I just think Matt Dolan is the right person.”

DeWine’s comments come after two GOP Senators, Sens. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.), similarly declined to endorse Trump earlier Sunday.

“At this point, all I will say is that I plan to vote for a Republican for the presidency of the United States,” Cassidy said Sunday.

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