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COLUMBUS, Ohio —

With Ohio’s 2024 primary election less than four months away, candidates for the state’s biggest race are ramping up campaign stops.

Matt Dolan, Frank LaRose and Bernie Moreno are all vying to be the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate. The seat is currently held by Democrat Sen. Sherrod Brown who is running for reelection.

Ohio, a former swing state, voted for Donald Trump overwhelmingly in both the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections, making this election one of several opportunities for the GOP to pick up another seat in the Democrat-controlled Senate in 2024.

Dolan, a current state senator in Ohio, was the first Republican to announce his bid for U.S. Senate. This is not his first time running for Senate. Dolan, whose family owns the Cleveland Guardians, previously launched an unsuccessful campaign in a crowded field to take over now-retired GOP Sen. Rob Portman’s seat. Dolan came third in the Republican primary in 2022, falling short to now-Sen. J.D. Vance.

In the last few months, Dolan has picked up key endorsements, including one from the leaders of East Palestine. Back in February, a Norfolk Southern train with about 50 cars, including 10 carrying hazardous materials, derailed in a fiery crash in the village bordering Pennsylvania.

In his endorsement of Dolan, East Palestine’s Mayor Trent Conaway shared this statement: “In the aftermath of unspeakable tragedy, Ohioans came together from many walks of life to lift one another up and begin a recovery process that continues today. Through it all, one leader among many has stood out for his efforts grounded in responsiveness and results. Matt Dolan didn’t come here for headlines, cameras, or social media clicks. He quietly showed up, rolled up his sleeves and asked how he could help. Each day, Matt has stood with East Palestine and as we continue to rebuild, he’s focused on our community’s needs and worked with us to develop a recovery plan that gets results. That’s why I’m proud to stand with Matt Dolan.”

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Ohio’s Secretary of State, Frank LaRose, is the most recognized name in this race. He was the last candidate to join the race but continues to be a strong contender. Of the three, LaRose is the only one who has won a statewide race, something he doesn’t hesitate to remind voters about.

Besides being in charge of Ohio’s elections, LaRose spearheaded a special election this past August, in which Ohioans voted whether or not the threshold to approve proposed constitutional amendments should be raised to 60% instead of a simple majority.

That effort failed.

LaRose also has a number of endorsements to boast about, including one from Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones. In a video posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, Jones said, “I’m here today to endorse the guy that’s been to the border, he’s served his country in the military and he’s been fighting this battle for quite some time. It gives me great pleasure to endorse Frank LaRose.”

Ohio businessman Bernie Moreno launched his campaign in April, becoming the second candidate to announce his run. Generally regarded as a political outsider, Moreno could be the candidate to beat Dolan and LaRose for the nomination, based on endorsements alone.

Moreno was endorsed by current Republican Sen. J.D. Vance early on in the race, and he’s expected to score Trump’s endorsement as well. Moreno originally declared for the 2022 Senate race but dropped out of the race after meeting with the former president.

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After Moreno filed paperwork to run for Senate, Trump shared encouraging words for him, stopping just short of an official endorsement, “Moreno would not be easy to beat, especially against Brown, one of the worst in the Senate!”

The 2024 U.S. Senate race is expected to be a heated one. Polling has shown voters are mixed when it comes to Brown’s time in office. An Emerson College Poll from Nov. 16, shows Brown holding off Dolan, LaRose and Moreno. But an Emerson College Poll from October showed both Dolan and LaRose beating Brown, though by slim margins.

Ohio’s primary election is scheduled for March 19.

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