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Bernie Moreno launches Ohio US Senate bid in what he says will be a two-person race

Bernie Moreno, candidate for the Republican nomination for US Senate in Ohio
Bernie Moreno for US Senate campaign
Bernie Moreno, candidate for the Republican nomination for US Senate in Ohio

A wealthy Cleveland businessman who left last year’s Republican primary for US Senate before the vote has joined the race for the GOP nomination for next year’s Senate race.

And Bernie Moreno thinks the field will stay small and focused on conservative issues and on incumbent Democrat Sherrod Brown.

Car dealer and tech entrepreneur Bernie Moreno said in an interview he’s “unapologetically pro-Trump” and will campaign on inflation, immigration, de-escalating the war in Ukraine and what he calls restoring constitutional principles.

Moreno dropped out of last year's race for the Republican nomination for US Senate after filing his paperwork, but before the vote. He said it wasn't his plan to leave that race after getting some attention so he could run this time.

"It was never my plan to run at all. I was focused on building businesses, creating growth and prosperity for myself and my team," Moreno said. "But it's these career insider politicians from both parties that are ruining our country. And you got guys like Sherrod Brown who'd never done anything in their lives other than collect the government paycheck. And it's time for those guys to go."

Sen. Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls), who’s also a wealthy Cleveland-area businessman through his part ownership of the Cleveland Guardians, is the only other announced candidate in the race. Dolan also ran for the Republican nomination for US Senate last year, coming in third behind JD Vance, who won the seat in the fall, and former state treasurer Josh Mandel. Then and now, Dolan has deliberately not sought Trump's support, but Moreno said he and Trump are aligned on a lot of issues.

"I've endorsed him. I think we need him back in the White House in 2024," Moreno said. "I'm unapologetically pro-Trump and I hope that his support continues because he's done two great things in Ohio. I think he's very popular in Ohio, rightfully so, because he did great things for our state and for our country."

There’s been a lot of Republican interest in this race, even Brown has easily beat his three previous GOP opponents. But Moreno said this primary won’t be like that seven-way Republican race last year.

“I think the others who are talked about and that are not announced candidates, I think the voters will realize that those people have very important, consequential jobs to do that they in some cases just got elected to do,” Moreno said.

Secretary of State Frank LaRose, Attorney General Dave Yost and Congressman Warren Davidson (R-OH 8), all newly re-elected, are thought to be interested.

Contact Karen at 614-578-6375 or at
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