But after trailing in the primary contest for months, Mr. Vance is entering the home stretch as the frontrunner, with the other contestants firing at him.
Providing aerial coverage to Mr. Mandel, the corporate-backed political action committee, the Club for Growth, airs an ad repeating the attacks Mr. Vance carried out in 2016 against Mr. Trump and his supporters, suggesting that the former president made a mistake with his endorsement. .
A pro-Vance super PAC, heavily funded by Peter Thiel, the Trump-aligned financier Mr. Vance works for, hit back Friday with an ad aired in Columbus, Dayton and Cleveland that portrays Mr. Mandel as a “squish.” Mr. Mandel’s embrace by 2008 and 2012 Republican presidential candidates John McCain and Mitt Romney is treated in the ad as a scarlet letter, and Mr. Kasich’s kind words might as well have come from Nancy Pelosi.
“Josh Mandel, he’s for them, not for us,” intones the narrator, a clear message that Tuesday’s primary is geared toward the extreme Republicans, not the kind of voters who once backed Mr. Kasich and Mr. Romney .
Mr. Gibbons, still seeking the nomination, will on Monday introduce another Trump ally, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, to attest to his conservative bona fide. In a series of Friday statements apparently released to appeal to the far right, Mr Gibbons said an “urgent need for real change” meant he would support a convention to rewrite the Constitution, and said a The Department of Homeland Security’s new effort to combat disinformation would be “a de facto ‘Ministry of Truth'” to crush dissent.
Jonathan Weisman reported from Columbus, Ohio, and Trip Gabriel from Dayton. Shane Goldmacher and Maggie Haberman contributed reporting.