OHIO (AP) — Most of the Republican candidates for Ohio’s open U.S. Senate seat said Thursday that they have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
A question about their shots was posed to GOP contenders for the seat being vacated by Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman during a candidate forum sponsored by several local county Republican parties in the rural Dayton area and organized by the Ohio Press Network, a right-leaning news website.
Cleveland.com reports that former state GOP chair Jane Timken, author JD Vance and Cleveland businesspeople Bernie Moreno and Mike Gibbons all oppose mandates requiring vaccinations against the coronavirus, but they said they got vaccinated themselves for personal reasons.
Former Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, another Republican candidate, refused to answer the question. He had previously said his vaccine status is a personal medical issue.
Businessman Mark Pukita was the only one to say he was unvaccinated, drawing applause from among the 200 people gathered in a high school auditorium.
Republican Ohio Senate Finance Chair Matt Dolan, a Cleveland-area candidate for the Portman seat, skipped Thursday’s event, citing a schedule conflict. His campaign told The Associated Press he also is vaccinated.
U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan and consumer protection attorney Morgan Harper, a progressive, are running for the Democratic nomination.