Trump to hold Ohio fundraiser with VP contender JD Vance

Sen. JD Vance, an Ohio Republican who is among the contenders to be Donald Trump’s vice presidential running mate, will help the former president raise money next month in Cincinnati, according to an invitation obtained Tuesday by NBC News.

Vance is billed as the “special guest” for a May 15 fundraiser and “lunch discussion” to be headlined by Trump. Host committee members are being asked to contribute or raise $250,000 per couple. For attendees, the amounts are $100,000 per couple or $50,000 per person. All funds will go to the Trump 47 joint fundraising committee.

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday night.

The event could be a trial of sorts for Vance, a first-term senator who lives in Cincinnati and has been a top Trump ally in Ohio. Eight years ago, during his first run for president, Trump made a show of auditioning potential running mates at rallies before settling on then-Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.

Such public spectacles have yet to materialize in Trump’s third White House bid. The former president has been tied up in his hush money trial in New York and unable to campaign as much, though he has rallies scheduled for Wednesday in Wisconsin and Michigan, two Midwest battlegrounds.

Ohio is not the presidential swing state it used to be — Trump won it in 2016 and 2020 by 8 percentage points.

Trump forged a relationship with Vance, 39, after endorsing him in a crowded 2022 Senate primary. More recently, they joined forces in Ohio on behalf of former car dealer Bernie Moreno, who won the GOP Senate primary this year after the former president headlined a rally for him in the closing days of the race. Vance threw himself into the primary by courting high-level donors and helping to shore up money for the rally, which was hosted by the pro-Moreno Buckeye Values PAC.

Moreno will face Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown this fall in what is expected to be one of the most competitive Senate races in the country.

In an appearance Sunday on Fox News, Vance said he has not spoken with Trump about the vice presidency but that he would “seriously think about it” if asked to join the presumptive GOP nominee’s ticket.

Vance is among several vice presidential prospects scheduled to appear this weekend at a Trump 47 spring retreat in Palm Beach, Fla. Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Tim Scott of South Carolina, Govs. Doug Burgum of North Dakota and Kristi Noem of South Dakota, and Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York are also expected at the event.

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