LaRose Positions Himself as Strongest Challenger in Ohio Senate Primary

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose has announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate, joining a crowded field of Republicans vying for the seat currently held by Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown. LaRose, a former Green Beret, believes that he has the strongest chance of defeating Brown due to his strong statewide name recognition. He criticized his opponents, businessmen Bernie Moreno and Mike Dolan, for their wealth, stating that being prosperous doesn’t automatically qualify someone to be a good public servant or senator.

LaRose has received encouragement from national Republicans, but the party’s Senate campaign arm has stated that they will not be involved in the Ohio primary, confident that any one of the candidates could win the general election. The 2022 Senate primary was a contentious battle, and this election cycle seems to be heading in the same direction. While LaRose claims to have polling that shows him with a double-digit lead in the primary, he still has challenges to face, including questions about his loyalty to former President Donald Trump and his tenure as Ohio’s top elections official.

Both Moreno and Dolan initially launched campaigns for the Senate seat but were unsuccessful in the primary. Moreno has closely aligned himself with Trump, securing an endorsement from Republican Senator J.D. Vance, who Trump endorsed in the midterms. Dolan has been critical of Trump but doesn’t view himself as anti-Trump. LaRose, on the other hand, wants Trump’s endorsement but has expressed that he conducts himself differently from the former president.

Whoever emerges from the primary will face a tough opponent in Senator Sherrod Brown. Brown has weathered Ohio’s shift to the right and has strong fundraising capabilities. As a shadow candidate, LaRose has thrown his support behind a ballot initiative that would raise the vote threshold needed to amend the state’s constitution. Critics of the measure believe it is an attempt to make it harder to constitutionally protect the right to abortion.

LaRose describes himself as “pro-life” and has supported legislation that would ban abortion after six weeks. While this position may not be popular with a majority of Ohio voters, LaRose is confident that his leadership and convictions will resonate with the electorate.

In what is expected to be a highly contentious race, LaRose will have to navigate the challenges of a crowded primary field and differentiate himself from his wealthy opponents. He will also need to address questions about his stance on Trump and his ability to win over voters in a general election against Sherrod Brown. The Ohio Republican primary will be closely watched as the party tries to win back control of the Senate in the 2022 midterm elections.