Ohio Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose launches campaign for U.S. Senate

Ohio Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose launched a U.S. Senate candidacy on Monday, joining GOP efforts to try to unseat Democrat Sherrod Brown next year.

LaRose, 44, is in his second term as Ohio’s chief election officer, one of the state’s most high-profile jobs. He managed to walk a delicate line between GOP factions divided by lies spun by former President Donald Trump about election integrity to earn a convincing score of 59% of the statewide vote. when running for re-election in 2022.

He first took office in 2019, with just over 50% of the vote, and had previously spent eight years as a state senator and toured as a US Army Green Beret .

LaRose already has competitors for the GOP nomination, including State Senator Matt Dolan, whose family owns baseball’s Cleveland Guardians, and Bernie Moreno, a wealthy Cleveland business owner whose candidacy was encouraged by Trump. .

Dolan made his first Senate run last year, investing nearly $11 million of his own money — the seventh-highest among self-funders nationwide, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. Despite joining the ugly and protracted primary relatively late, Dolan managed to finish third amidst a crowded field.

Moreno, the father-in-law of Trump-backed Republican U.S. Representative Max Miller, was 17th highest among self-financiers nationwide — in a 2022 Senate primary packed with millionaires. Republican JD Vance, a venture capitalist known for his memoir-turned-movie, “Hillbilly Elegy,” ultimately won the seat.

Next year’s successful GOP nominee will face off against one of Ohio’s most successful and longest-serving politicians. Voters first sent Brown to the US Senate in 2007, after 14 years as a congressman, two terms as secretary of state and eight years as a state representative.

But Brown, with one of the most liberal voting records in the Senate, is seen as more vulnerable than ever this time around. That’s because the once reliable flagship state now appears to be staunchly Republican.

Voters elected Trump twice by wide margins and, outside of the state Supreme Court, Brown is the only Democrat to win statewide elections since 2006.

Leave a Comment