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Donald Trump endorses Bernie Moreno on the eve of Ohio's US Senate candidate filing deadline

Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023
Sarah Donaldson
Statehouse News Bureau
Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023

The field is set for next year’s U.S. Senate race in Ohio, after the last major declared candidate filed his paperwork Monday afternoon to get on the March primary ballot—and on the eve of the filing deadline, an endorsement seen as critical in the Republican race has been delivered.

Cleveland-area businessman Bernie Moreno, Secretary of State Frank LaRose and state Sen. Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) are all jockeying to be the GOP nominee to try their hand at unseating U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown.

The three-term senator has said this will be his toughest race yet. It has been ranked by a number of national media 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.

Moreno submitted his papers weeks ago—his second time running for U.S. Senate, after exiting early in 2022. The wealthy tech entrepreneur and former luxury car dealer clinched an endorsement from Sen. J.D. Vance in May, and on Tuesday night, received an even bigger endorsement.

Former President Donald Trump endorsed Moreno on the Truth Social platform he started, writing, "It's time for the entire Republican party to UNITE around Bernie's campaign."

"Bernie Moreno will be an outstanding United States senator, and has my Complete and Total Endorsement—He will never let you down!" Trump wrote.

LaRose, who was elected secretary of state in 2018 and is term-limited, declared his run for U.S. Senate over the summer. At the time, he was heavily involved with the failed effort to make it harder to amend the Ohio Constitution. He also vied for Trump's backing, which he received during his reelection campaign last year.

First to launch and last to file, Dolan also ran in 2022, as a largely anti-Trump candidate who broke from the field in noting correctly that Trump did not win the 2020 election. He came in third among the crowded field of GOP candidates.

Dolan, who announced he was running in January, is the Ohio Senate finance committee chair and a co-owner of the Cleveland Guardians.

LaRose, Brown and Dolan all filed their forms in the last week, ahead of Wednesday's deadline. Primary Election Day in Ohio is scheduled for Tuesday, March 19.

Sarah Donaldson covers government, policy, politics and elections for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. Contact her at