Ohio business review

Ohio Republicans Choose U.S. Senate Challenger in a Test of Trump’s Influence

 Former Republican senate candidate Bernie Moreno introduces JD Vance and Donald Trump Jr. at an event ahead of next month’s primary election in Independence, Ohio, U.S., April 20, 2022. REUTERS/Gaelen Morse

Bernie Moreno emerged victorious as the Republican nominee poised to challenge Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown in November, as projected by Edison Research on Tuesday. This contest has been closely watched as a barometer of former President Donald Trump’s enduring influence within the GOP. 

Trump’s explicit endorsement of Moreno at a campaign rally underscored the significance of his candidacy. Additionally, key Republican figures such as Ohio’s U.S. Senator J.D. Vance and Representative Jim Jordan rallied behind Moreno in a highly competitive field.

With Republicans keen on flipping the Senate majority, Ohio’s Senate race has become a focal point, particularly after the setback in the 2022 midterms, where several Trump-backed candidates faltered. Despite a substantial influx of funds into the primary race—totaling $48.3 million according to AdImpact, a firm tracking political advertising—Moreno faced formidable opposition. 

Notably, Matt Dolan, a state senator with endorsements from Governor Mike DeWine and former Senator Rob Portman, posed a significant challenge to Moreno’s candidacy.

The significance of Ohio in national politics cannot be overstated, given its history of supporting Trump in the past two presidential elections. Trump carried the state by a significant margin in 2020, underscoring its importance in Republican strategy. Furthermore, Republicans currently maintain a strong grip on Ohio, controlling numerous major statewide elected offices and both chambers of the state legislature.

Meanwhile, on the Democratic side, Senator Sherrod Brown, a moderate figure who chairs the Senate banking panel, emerged uncontested in the primary. 

As the general election approaches, all eyes will be on Ohio, where the battle for the Senate seat promises to be fiercely contested, with ramifications extending beyond the state’s borders.

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