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Gibbons announces bus ride through 88 Ohio counties in GOP Senate primary election as he attacks Vance’s MAGA credentials

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GOP Senate candidate Mike Gibbons says his bus ride to nearly 90 Ohio counties could help him quarrel over unresolved primary voters after former President Donald Trump threw a “curve ball” into the race by supporting opponent JD Vance

“We had a lot of people come up and say we voted for you, we will do that for you,” Gibbons told Fox News Sunday outside the Ottawa County Republican Women’s Club Chicken BBQ in Port Clinton.

“That’s how we felt all over the state,” he added. “We have a lot of support and this election is not over.”

Ohio GOP Senate candidate Mike Gibbons speaks with Fox News Digital outside at the Ottowa County Republican Women's Club event in Port Clinton, Ohio.  (Tyler Olson / Fox News)

Ohio GOP Senate candidate Mike Gibbons speaks with Fox News Digital outside at the Ottowa County Republican Women’s Club event in Port Clinton, Ohio. (Tyler Olson / Fox News)

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Gibbons pulled up to the event in his trademark campaign bus and mingled with former Ohio GOP president Jane Timken and state senator Matt Dolan – also candidates in the GOP Senate primary election – with voters over lunch.

Gibbons manned the lemonade station and lined up a series of cups for the participants as they came through the lunch queue at a local Knights of Columbus club.

The candidate said the support he saw in Port Clinton matched what he sees in many other remote areas of Ohio on his bus ride.

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“I actually can not think of an area where we are weak,” Gibbons said. “We’ve been all over the state, 88 counties, in many counties we were the only ones who spent some time with them … I hope it pays off. We’ll see how smart the voters in Ohio are here in a few days. ”

Ohio GOP Senate candidate Mike Gibbons steps out of his campaign bus ahead of an Ottawa County Republican Women's Club event in Port Clinton, Ohio.  (Tyler Olson / Fox News)

Ohio GOP Senate candidate Mike Gibbons steps out of his campaign bus ahead of an Ottawa County Republican Women’s Club event in Port Clinton, Ohio. (Tyler Olson / Fox News)

The event came down to the final piece of a campaign that has been dominated by four of the top candidates, including Gibbons, who is fighting hard for Trump’s approval. Gibbons, an investment banker by trade, seemed like a potential option, especially given his comparison to Trump as a businessman who decided to run.

But Vance, a former businessman himself and the author of “Hillbilly Elegy,” eventually got Trump’s support. This was despite many comments Vance made in 2016 that were highly critical of Trump and his constituents.

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Gibbons called Trump’s action a mistake.

“I’m a pro-America First candidate. I supported Donald Trump … I do not think he made a good decision when he came into this race, especially so late in the fight,” Gibbons said Sunday. “He took a guy who was single-digit and made him competitive … and I think a lot of Republicans in the state, conservatives in this state, are worried about that. They do not want to be told who to vote for by a guy from the west coast … People are bored. ”

Trump gave critics of his support for Vance even more ammunition at a meeting Sunday night in Nebraska. The former president stumbled upon his words, saying he supported “JP, not? JD Mandel,” in the Ohio race.

Ohio GOP Senate candidate Mike Gibbons serves lemonade to voters at an Ottawa County Republican Women's Club event in Port Clinton, Ohio.  (Tyler Olson / Fox News)

Ohio GOP Senate candidate Mike Gibbons serves lemonade to voters at an Ottawa County Republican Women’s Club event in Port Clinton, Ohio. (Tyler Olson / Fox News)

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Gibbons’ campaign immediately attacked Vance at the moment. “Vance’s momentum, like his MAGA credentials, is false,” it said in a press release.

Vance regularly acknowledges his previous comments about Trump in campaign stops. He tells voters he has had a serious change of mind about Trump, highlighting support from MAGA world regulars as reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., And Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., As proof that he is now pro-Trump. .

“I just think you have to tell the truth. No? A lot of people changed their minds about Donald Trump, and I’m one of them,” Vance said Saturday. “It’s not really about what I said about Trump six years ago.”

Despite the “curveball,” Gibbons said, he believed the Trump approval changed the minds of very few of his supporters.

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Voters will go to the polls in the high-profile, expensive and controversial primary election in the Senate on Tuesday, where Vance, Gibbons, Dolan and former Treasurer Josh Mandel are all apparently within striking distance in many polls. And with a massive number of undefeated, Timken also maintains that she can pull off a late win thanks to her extensive ground play.

The winner of the GOP’s primary election is likely to face rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, at the November general election.

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