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Filings show Dolan, Moreno loaned themselves millions for US Senate race's final leg

Frank LaRose, Bernie Moreno and Matt Dolan stand behind individual podiums on a TV stage against a red, white and blue background.

Two of the three GOP candidates running for U.S. Senate have significantly more cash on hand in the final days before Election Day, thanks to personal loans, according to the latest campaign finance disclosures.

Matt Dolan, a northeast Ohio state senator, loaned himself $2 million, and Bernie Moreno, a Cleveland businessman, loaned himself $1.2 million in the first two months of the year. That left them each with close to $2.4 million in cash on hand at the end of February, according to pre-primary Federal Elections Commission filings due March 7.

Frank LaRose, the current secretary of state, had just under $600,000 on hand. LaRose didn’t have any personal loans from Jan. 1 through Feb. 29, although he previously loaned himself $250,000. The multi-million-dollar loans have created a gulf on paper between him and the other two candidates throughout the election cycle.

During that same two-month period, Dolan brought in about $278,000 in contributions, LaRose received about $362,000 and Moreno received a little less than $1.19 million.

Political action committees, or PACs, have also boosted the candidates’ efforts. The Leadership for Ohio Fund, which is pushing for LaRose, threw millions of dollars into the race, and the Buckeye Leadership Fund backing Dolan has more than $2 million on hand.

The race has been ranked by national outlets as one of the country’s most contested races, with the potential to determine which political party controls the upper chamber of Congress. Dolan, LaRose and Moreno are all vying to be the GOP nominee facing off against U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) in the fall.

In December, Moreno clinched an endorsement seen as critical in the race. 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.”

Brown, who doesn't have a primary challenger, boasts $13.5 million in cash on hand—raising $4.7 million so far this year. The three-term senator has said this will be his toughest race yet.

“While Sherrod’s potential opponents write themselves checks and ‘heavily’ self-fund—to the tune of $13.65 million so far this cycle—Sherrod is building a grassroots operation,” a spokesperson for Friends of Sherrod Brown wrote in a Monday news release.

All four candidate’s full campaign finance reports, from this period and previous ones, can be found on the FEC’s website here.

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