Campaign finance filings show LaRose last in list of Ohio's 2024 candidates for US Senate
Over the next three weeks, Ohioans will cast their votes on two statewide issues—one determining whether abortion will be codified and the other whether recreational marijuana will be legalized—alongside local races and levies.
At the same time, the 2024 campaign for U.S. Senate is ramping up in Ohio, even with Election Day in November more than a full year away. The race has been ranked by a number of outlets as one of the country’s most contested races, with the potential to determine which political party takes control of the upper chamber of Congress.
Third quarter filings with the Federal Elections Commission, which were due by Sunday, showed that Secretary of State Frank LaRose raised the least of the three GOP candidates positioning themselves to attempt unseating Sen. Sherrod Brown.
The 2024 primary election in Ohio is scheduled for Tuesday, March 19.
LaRose brought in under $792,000 in total contributions from July 1 through Sept. 30, according to FEC forms, providing the first financial picture of his candidacy. In the same period, State Sen. Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) reported nearly $1.1 million and Cleveland-area businessman Bernie Moreno reported close to $1.2 million.
In a memo, LaRose’s campaign still called it a “strong quarter,” pointing in part to large personal donations Dolan and Moreno made to their own races. The multi-million-dollar loans created an even larger gulf on paper between them and LaRose. Dolan has about $6.7 million cash on hand and Moreno has about $5 million—with LaRose sitting on a little more than $868,000.
“Despite Frank not being a self-funder and while his primary opponents will rely on their family fortunes to finance their latest Senate bids, our campaign will have more than enough resources to compete and win the primary,” the memo read.
Moreno and LaRose are angling for an endorsement from former President Donald Trump, whose backing of J.D. Vance last year vaulted him to a win in the Republican U.S. Senate primary. Dolan, who has pushed back on Trump's lies about the 2020 election being stolen, didn't actively seek Trump's endorsement when he ran for U.S. Senate last year and isn't this time either. But Dolan has said, "If President Trump endorses me, I'd accept it."
But Democratic incumbent Brown, who is not facing a primary challenger, beat out all three of his potential opponents. Brown reported $4.7 million in total contributions, with more than $11.2 million cash on hand, according to FEC forms.
All four candidate’s full campaign finance reports, from this period and previous, can be found on the FEC’s website here.