Ohio Senate candidate Tim Ryan’s spokesperson tersely declined the Lincoln Project’s offer to help the Democrat defeat Republican J.D. Vance in the November election.
The controversial PAC, formed by once and former Republicans to stop Donald Trump’s re-election, has broadened its opposition to Republicans across the nation, including mainstream Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin. Its offer to help Democrats in the Buckeye State drew a short and sweet declination from the spokeswoman for Ryan, a Youngstown Democrat who won Tuesday’s primary.
“Pls no,” tweeted Izzy Levy.
pls no https://t.co/JNDqLzFOhH
— Izzi Levy (@chevytothe_levy) May 5, 2022
Vance, who triumphed over a crowded field in Tuesday’s GOP primary, is a venture capitalist and author of “Hillbilly Elegy,” a memoir on his Appalachian roots. A one-time never-Trumper, Vance became an unapologetic supporter of the 45th president and won his endorsement the race.
The Lincoln Project, which labeled the Ohio race to replace retiring Republican Sen. Rob Portman as one of the “top races critical to American democracy’s survival,” has stepped up its Twitter attacks on Vance since the primary. The group has vowed to be active in the race, even if Ryan’s team would rather it stayed out.
Thank you again @ProjectLincoln for helping elect Gov. Glenn Youngkin, and thank you in advance for doing your part to elect a MAGA Republican Sen. @JDVance1, perhaps even contributing to the GOP taking control of the Senate in the process!
— Rebecca Downs (@RebeccaRoseGold) May 5, 2022
Vance won his party’s primary over a crowded field that included former State Treasurer Josh Mandel and Matt Dolan, whose family owns the Cleveland Guardians Major League Baseball team. Vance garnered 32% of the GOP vote, but his tally of 340,000 votes nearly matched Ryan’s vote total in a far less competitive race.
The Lincoln Project, which despite its purported Republican roots has campaigned almost exclusively against GOP candidates, also made news this week when it blasted Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s leaked draft decision overturning Roe v. Wade. But most of its emphasis has been on political races.
“Unlike other PACs, The Lincoln Project is not going after easy races to bolster its winning percentage,” the group announced this week. “Each race was evaluated and scored on whether it plays an outsized role creating a positive, pro-democracy outcome in 2024, the importance towards controlling the state’s governor’s office and Congressional delegation, and finally, an individual candidate’s support for liberalism.”
The Lincoln Project was established in 2019 by a group of conservatives including Jeff Weaver, Steve Schmidt, and George Conway, husband of former Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway. It raised tens of millions of dollars, but questions were raised about how it spent the money after it was revealed some $50 million went to longtime Republican operatives, including Rick Wilson and Schmidt.
Scandal followed when Weaver, once an aide to the late Sen. John McCain and a married father of two, was accused in early 2021 of sending sexually charged messages to male teens. More than 20 men came forward in accusing Weaver of harassing them online.
Weaver is no longer associated with the group.