Before the dinner kicked off, according to Politico, Trump met in a backroom with former state Treasurer Josh Mandel; former state GOP Chair Jane Timken; tech executive Bernie Moreno; and investment banker Mike Gibbons to discuss the Senate race.
Mandel and Timken have already announced their bids for the seat, while Moreno and Gibbons are expected to jump in soon.
The meeting, which reportedly lasted 15 minutes, was described to Politico by one source as being like the “Hunger Games,” and a surprise, awkward confrontation for the Senate hopefuls.
According to sources cited by Politico, the huddle covered everything from the candidates’ support of Trump and opposition to his impeachment, previous endorsements and donations, and early polling in the race.
A consultant affiliated with one of the campaigns told The Hill that most of the back and forth during the meeting was between Timken and Mandel. The Hill has reached out to representatives for both candidates.