The latest on Ohio’s Senate GOP primary and other state contests

The latest on Ohio’s Senate GOP primary and other state contests - Politics - News

Ohio’s Republican Senate Primary: A Battleground for Democratic Control and Trump’s Influence

The ongoing Republican primary race in Ohio, held on Tuesday, March 7, serves as the first significant test of Donald Trump’s impact on a contested Senate election. This race holds vital importance for both parties, with the outcome shaping the fate of Senator Sherrod Brown and the Democratic majority in the Senate.

In Columbus on Monday night, Ohio’s Republican Senate candidates engaged in a heated competition to secure their party’s nomination. One of the contenders, state Senator Matt Dolan, posed an intriguing question to his supporters, “Are we ready to win and retire Sherrod Brown from Ohio politics?” However, despite the relentless efforts to unseat Brown, the primary race witnessed a renewed focus on Trump and his recent rally near Dayton.

Trump’s involvement in the Ohio Senate race is noteworthy, as national Republicans have decided to keep their distance from this contest. Although Trump had already secured the Republican presidential nomination last week, he stands to gain significantly if his preferred candidate, businessman Bernie Moreno, emerges victorious.

The Ohio Senate race has become one of the most expensive contests in the 2024 election cycle, with Republicans investing a massive $42 million. This substantial amount can be attributed to self-funding candidates Bernie Moreno and Matt Dolan, who have contributed over $9 million and $4.2 million from their personal fortunes, respectively.

In addition to the Ohio Senate race, Republican campaigns and outside groups have collectively spent over $7 million on key US House primaries in the 2nd, 9th, and 6th districts.

Frank LaRose, Ohio Secretary of State and a GOP Senate candidate, expressed confidence in his ability to win the primary. He accused opponent Bernie Moreno of being untrustworthy, despite Moreno receiving Trump’s endorsement. LaRose maintained that Moreno was the weakest candidate to challenge Democratic incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown in November. He cited an outside group affiliated with the Senate Democrats’ top Super PAC as evidence of Moreno’s vulnerability.

Trump’s use of the term “bloodbath” during his Ohio rally for Moreno did not concern LaRose. He acknowledged that the situation at the southern border was causing bloodshed, but he didn’t take issue with Trump’s choice of words.

Regarding Trump’s controversial comments about Jewish people who vote for Democrats “hating their religion,” LaRose declined to comment and instead emphasized that the modern Democratic Party had not been a strong advocate for Israel as it should be. He also avoided answering whether he would certify the 2024 presidential election results, stressing that Ohio runs honest elections.

The outcome of the Ohio Republican primary race will have significant implications for the Democratic majority in the Senate and provide insights into Trump’s influence on future elections.