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Jones: Those who abandoned Trump ‘not supporting Republican Party’

Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones is upset at Republicans who have abandoned their support of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, particularly U.S. Sen. Rob Portman.

Jones, who is running for re-election as sheriff, is an unabashed supporter of Trump, having spoken at the GOP candidate’s local and Cincinnati rallies.

Portman had showed only tepid support for Trump before pulling it entirely after a videotape surfaced earlier this month in which Trump made casual references to sexual assault while on an “Access Hollywood” bus in 2005.

Portman joined dozens of Republicans abandoning support of the GOP presidential nominee. He said he would write-in Indiana Gov. Mike Pence — Trump’s running mate — as his vote for president, even though it won’t count.

But Jones said Portman and other Republicans who have abandoned their support are “not supporting the Republican Party.”

“Basically what he’s doing is supporting Hillary Clinton,” Jones said. “He’s not supporting the Republican (presidential) candidate, and that’s not supporting the Republican Party.”

According to the sheriff, a Portman staffer extended an invitation to Jones to meet with the Senator, but Jones told the Journal-News: “I wouldn’t come there if they paid me to come see him.”

Jones’ un-endorsement of Portman is a 180-degree turnaround from 2010. Six years earlier, Jones, along with former Ohio Attorney General Betty Montgomery, served as a co-chair for the Portman for Senate Law Enforcement Coalition.

This news outlet has reached out the Portman campaign for comment.

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll taken after Portman pulled his Trump support shows him with an 18-point lead over Democratic opponent, former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland.

Jones said he won’t be voting for Portman or Strickland.

“I’m going to leave that one empty,” he said.

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