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TROY, OH - APRIL 11: Republican U.S. Senate candidate JD Vance speaks with prospective supporters at a campaign event on April 11, 2022 in Troy, Ohio. Vance, a conservative commentator perhaps best known for his memoir Hillbilly Elegy, is in a crowded field to replace the retiring Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH). (Photo by Gaelen Morse/Getty Images)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — “Hillbilly Elegy” author JD Vance has won Ohio’s contentious and hyper-competitive GOP Senate primary, buoyed by Donald Trump’s endorsement in a race widely seen as an early test of the former president’s hold on his party. Vance’s win ends an exceptionally bitter and expensive primary contest that, at one point, saw two candidates nearly come to blows on a debate stage. And it marks a major victory for Trump, who has staked his reputation as a GOP kingmaker on his ability to pull his chosen candidates across the finish line. Democrat Nan Whaley, the former mayor of Dayton, will take on Ohio’s incumbent Republican Gov. Mike DeWine in the general election after both secured their parties’ nominations.