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Government/Politics

Ohio Senator, Indians Part Owner Joins Republican Race For U.S. Senate

Sen. Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) talks about the state budget in 2019.
Karen Kasler
/
Statehouse News Bureau
Sen. Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) talks about the state budget in 2019.

State Sen. Matt Dolan said he'll be running as a conservative, but isn't chasing former President Trump's endorsement.

There’s yet another candidate in the crowded race for the Republican nomination for US Senate.

Sen. Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls), chair of the Senate Finance Committee and part owner of Cleveland’s baseball team, has joined the contest that will be decided in the GOP primary in May.

Dolan describes himself as a smart conservative, not a moderate. Though he did propose gun control regulation in Ohio that Gov. Mike DeWine had championed, he talks up Republican issues like cutting taxes, expanding school choice and securing the southern border, and his concerns about the American exit from Afghanistan as reasons for running.

“We need to send somebody who can stop the Biden agenda while at the same time be for something," Dolan said in an interview.

While the other Republican candidates already in the race for months have been actively courting former President Trump and seeking his endorsement, Dolan said he’s going to go to where he can get the votes to win – and that he feels the race is wide open and that he thinks "conservative Republicans are going to say this is a guy we can get behind."

When asked if he'd be seeking Trump's endorsement, Dolan said, "If President Trump endorses me, I'd accept it."

When pressed on whether he's seeking that, Dolan said, "No, I'm going to seek the endorsement of Ohio Republicans and then ultimately all Ohioans in November."

A few hours after Dolan's announcement, former president Trump made it clear that endorsement was highly unlikely.

Many of the other Republican candidates have also been sharing divisive and controversial viewpoints and sometimes disinformation. Dolan said he expects the race to be very nasty.

And with at least six millionaires in the race – Dolan among them – it will also likely be very expensive.

The most costly U.S. Senate race in Ohio history was the 2012 contest between incumbent Democrat Sherrod Brown and Republican state treasurer Josh Mandel, who is considered the leading contender in this GOP contest so far.

Former Ohio Republican Party chair Jane Timken, venture capitalist J.D. Vance and Cleveland businessmen Bernie Moreno and Mike Gibbons round out the top five candidates in terms of fundraising.

The one who wins takes on the Democratic nominee. Congressman Tim Ryan was the only major announced candidate until community organizer and progressive Morgan Harper joined the race last month.

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