Ohio governor endorses Dolan in Senate race, putting him at odds with Trump

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) endorsed state Sen. Matt Dolan for the GOP Senate primary on Monday, putting him in opposition to former President Trump, who backed a different candidate.

The Buckeye State’s GOP primary is a three-way race between Dolan, Secretary of State Frank LaRose and the Trump-backed businessman Bernie Moreno.

Dolan has aligned himself with more moderate GOP voices in Ohio, choosing not to fully back former President Trump during his 2022 Senate race for the state’s other seat, eventually won by Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio).

In his endorsement, DeWine held up Dolan as the best shot for Republicans to defeat Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).

“Matt’s service, experience, and integrity will make him the most effective voice for Ohio’s interests on the national stage,” the governor said in a statement. “Matt Dolan has a vision for the future. He listens. He fights. And he knows how to get results for Ohio.”

Dolan also received the endorsement of former Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) on Friday, the moderate who garnered a reputation for bipartisan dealmaking. Dolan has attempted to take up Portman’s mantle as the moderate candidate in the 2024 race.

Early polls show Moreno with a slight edge over Dolan, though Dolan has tended to perform better in general election polls against Brown than the more conservative Moreno.

Dolan’s support is strongest in his native Cleveland, where his family owns the Cleveland Guardians.

Brown has fundraised well as Democrats eye his seat as critical in order to keep a razor-thin majority in the Senate. According to year-end Federal Election Commission filings, Brown ended last year with more than $14 million in the bank, dwarfing LaRose’s $771,000, Moreno’s $2 million and Dolan’s $4.8 million.

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