News · Press Release

ICYMI: Hannity, Kushner, Local Republican Chair Encouraging Trump Insider to Primary Dave Joyce Pro-Trump pastor Darrell Scott may challenge U.S. Rep. Dave Joyce in 2018 Republican primary

A local pastor with close ties to President Donald Trump’s political operation says he is considering challenging U.S. Rep. Dave Joyce in the 2018 Republican primary.

The Rev. Darrell Scott publicly acknowledged his plans twice over the weekend — first at a Saturday fundraising event for the Ashtabula County Republican Party, and then on Sunday, during an appearance at Scott’s Cleveland Heights church with Sean Hannity, the pro-Trump Fox News media personality.

“He’s talked to quite a few people, and everybody is resoundingly suggesting that he make the run,” Ashtabula County Republican Party Chairman Charlie Frye said in an interview. “He and his wife are praying on it, and I’m sure that they’ll come to a resolution at some point here in the near future.”


Reached by phone Tuesday morning, Scott said he was in meetings in Washington D.C., and unavailable to comment at length. But in a brief interview, he said he had discussed his potential candidacy with Michael Cohen, Trump’s longtime attorney, and Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law– and both have expressed support. Hannity on Sunday also was supportive of Scott’s interest in seeking elected office, according to a recording of the event that was posted to Facebook. (Check the 17-minute mark of the video below to see Hannity address the topic.)

Scott rose to prominence during the 2016 presidential campaign as a vocal Trump backer. He is the CEO of the National Diversity Coalition for Trump, a semi-official group organized by Cohen. Scott hosted Trump, Cohen, now-Vice President Mike Pence and others at his church during a memorable September 2016 campaign appearance that also featured boxing promoter Don King. Scott also was invited by Trump’s team to speak at last year’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland.


Frye, who was at both the Saturday and Sunday events, in a Monday night interview praised Scott’s potential run, while sharply criticizing Joyce for not being more supportive of Trump’s agenda. While Frye is not among the most prominent county party chairs in Ohio, Ashtabula County was a hot spot of Trump support in 2016. Enthusiasm for Trump in November helped Republicans there take control of the county commission for the first time in recent history.

“If he [Joyce] is primaried, he’s going to have to answer to the Republican voters in May,” Frye said. “If he survives that primary…then I will fully support him at that point. But until then, if he has a primary opponent who better echoes the platform and the position of the Republican Party who is going to be sincere in their support of the president, then I definitely would entertain supporting that person.”

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