Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on Thursday became one of the highest-profile sitting Republican officials to acknowledge Joe Biden’s election victory, directly referring to him as the president-elect despite President Trump’s refusal to concede.
DeWine had previously congratulated Biden in a statement on Monday but stopped short of calling him president-elect, instead writing, “When lawsuits have concluded and election results are certified, it is important for all Americans to honor the outcome.”
Trump has refused to accept the results, instead launching lawsuits to try to overcome sizable vote-deficits in key states through unproven allegations of widespread voter fraud.
DeWine and Trump have had a tense relationship since Trump campaigned for him in 2018, most notably during the coronavirus pandemic, when DeWine broke with Trump on mail-in voting, shutdowns and masks.
DeWine had previously pushed back on Trump’s false declaration of victory on Wednesday morning, stating, “I am for Trump… if it ends up being Biden, all of us will accept that…. every vote has to be counted.”
Ohio’s senator, Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), often considered a relative moderate within the GOP ranks, has not acknowledged Biden’s victory, saying in a statement on Wednesday, “Biden is leading in enough states to win the presidency. But there are still votes being counted.”