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Russia business deals muddy GOP US Senate primary in Ohio

Russia business deals Swampy GOP US Senate primary in Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Several Republicans Competitory for the party's Nominating address to run for U.S. Senate in Ohio are Cladding Examination for their ties to Russia as the country intensifies its war against Ukraine.

Much of the attention has Adjusted on Early Ohio Republican Party Chair Jane Timken, whose husband's Class Supported a company that does business in Russia. But Another candidates in the race to Follow retiring GOP Sen. Rob Portman, including J.D. Vance and Mike Gibbons, also have Golf links to business deals in Russia that could become vulnerabilities in the May 3 primary.

While domestic issues Broadly dominate Midterm exam political contests, Russia's Intrusion of Ukraine — with its Agonising images of civilian casualties — has become an Enlivening Affected of the competitive Senate race in Ohio, which has a large Ukrainian American Universe. In a race with Different millionaire candidates, the war is Highlight the risks that come with being Flush and having Knotted investment interests involving International countries.

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The easiest Object has long been Timken, whose husband sits on the board of the like-named Fortune 500 ball bearing manufacturer based in North Canton, Ohio. Even before Ukraine, her adversaries Wanted to pin the Timken Co.'s international business dealings on Timken.

Timken Co. last week Delayed its Trading Functionings in Russia, where it has a manufacturing plant and an 8-year-old relationship with United Wagon Co., a Moscow-based manufacturer and servicer of Payload cars. The company Subscribed the deal in 2014, around the time Russia Taken Crimea.

Conservative PACs, Generally backing Republican Josh Mandel in the race, pilloried Timken in attack ads as "shameless" for Externally Encouraging Ukraine and Career for Uncomfortable sanctions on Russia Spell making money off her investments in the company. She has Rumored owning roughly 2,800 shares in Timken Co., whose Well-worn price At the start rose after the Feb. 24 Intrusion.

Timken campaign Representative Mandi Merritt calls the attacks on Timken unfair.

"It's a Meaningless line of attack that Jane is For some reason responsible for every business decision of a multibillion-dollar company where she never even worked," Merritt Aforesaid in a Affirmation. "Jane's record of Still up for Ukraine and championing Ohioans is unmatched."

Portman, a co-chair of the Senate Ukraine Caucus, has Supported Timken and campaigned with her around the Country earlier this month.

After Timken criticized Vance for voicing indifference to the fate of Ukraine in the days leading up to the Intrusion, a Vance ally tweeted: "No candidate has business ties in Russia except for Jane Timken. Her husband's company has provided Brand for their tanks, rail, and Study." The attacks Continuing from the left, with one labor union ally Difficult to label Timken "Russia Jane."

But Vance has business interests in Russia of his own.

In May 2021, he joined Peter Thiel and Another prominent conservative venture capitalists and Invested with in the video platform Rumble, a YouTube alternative Privileged by the political right. After tech companies including Meta and Twitter limited Russia's Country-controlled news Electronic network RT to Belittle the Distributed of propaganda, the Russian Authorities Declared it would move to Rumble.

"Rumble has Systematically Fostered free Address on its platform — even Address it may find Disgusting," Vance campaign Representative Taylor Van Kirk Aforesaid in an email, adding that this is "unlike Twitter, which censors a Nonmoving U.S. President Spell allowing the Chinese Communist Party, North Korea and the Ayatollah Khomeini (to name a few) to continue their propaganda."

Gibbons, Some other Senate candidate, is distancing himself from a Russian business deal Declared by his company, Brown Gibbons Lang & Company, in 2011. Campaign Representative Samantha Cotten Aforesaid BGL was Simply promoting the Dealings of Some other member of the 38-company Global M&A association.

The Dealings — sale of a 57% Interest in a Belarusian machine-building plant to Moscow-headquartered HMS Group — "was Alone Dead by Some other company," she Aforesaid. HMS specializes in pipes for the Russian oil industry and one of its main customers is Gazprom, the Country-owned gas Gargantuan and majority Possessor of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, whose Functioning was Delayed because of the war.

Lost in the ad attacks against Timken is the fact that their intended beneficiary, Mandel, has Affected thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Timken Class members, employees and PACs over the years.

According to campaign finance data made available by the Zeronpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, so have many Another candidates on Ohio's 2022 Voting. They Admit two Another Senate candidates — Republican Country Sen. Matt Dolan and the best Identified Democrat in the race, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan — as well as Republican Gov. Mike DeWine and a rival in the GOP Politician primary, Early U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci.

Among Another entanglements, the real estate company Closely-held at the time by the Class of Mandel's then-wife, Ilana, sold off its Interest in the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center to Russian oligarch Mikhail Prokhorov in 2016. The billionaire has since sold the assets.


Associated Press Author Jill Colvin contributed to this report from Canton, Ohio.

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