What You Need To Know Before Tomorrow’s First #OHSEN Primary Debate

6 mins read

Tomorrow, the Ohio Senate Slugfest will come to a head as Bernie Moreno, Frank LaRose, and Matt Dolan meet behind closed doors at a country club for their first primary debate. With an already “messy,” and “bruising” battle underway, the in-fighting will continue as each candidate makes clear he is not fighting for Ohioans.
What You’ll See At Tomorrow’s Slugfest Showdown
Expect to hear the Republicans running for Senate attack each other, jockey over Donald Trump, and pledge their support for dangerous abortion bans without exceptions for rape or incest. 
You won’t hear any plans for lowering Ohioans’ prescription drug costs, creating good-paying jobs or protecting Ohioans’ retirement.
Gasoline on the Slugfest Fire
Tomorrow will pour gasoline on the primary, which has already been called one of the “messiest, “most expensive” and “bruising” battles in the country. Here are some of the attacks what Ohioans have seen so far:
Bernie Moreno on Frank LaRose: “We put up with so much bad behavior in politics. The reality is, you just got elected for four years as Secretary of State, you’re running for Senate, that’s part of the problem. Shouldn’t you do the job you just got elected to do?”

Trump-ally Andrew Surabian: “At an Ohio U.S. Senate Forum, Bernie Moreno roasts Frank LaRose over his support for funding Ukraine.”

Frank LaRose’s campaign on Bernie Moreno, after LaRose downplayed the Trump endorsement and refused to endorse the former President in 2016, 2020, and even the first week of his Senate campaign: “President Trump is smart enough not to be conned by a used car salesman into buying a lemon.”
Matt Dolan’s campaign on Bernie Moreno trying to buy Ohio’s Senate seat after promising to not “write [himself] a big fat check:” “Bernie Moreno pledged to Ohioans on numerous occasions that he wouldn’t self-fund his campaign. What’s clear is that the former used car dealer’s credibility is eroding as quickly as his donor support.”
More on the Ohio Senate Slugfest:

  • Daily Beast: Ohio Is Shaping Up to Be the Messiest Senate Primary of 2024
  • NBC: “Ohio’s Senate race next year is expected to be one of the most expensive in the country. It will start with what already has the makings of a messy, Trump-influenced primary…”
  • The Messenger: Another competitive and expensive GOP primary is brewing in the Buckeye State  

What You Need To Know About The Field
Bernie Moreno is a mega millionaire worth over a hundred million dollars and bought himself luxury homes in places like New York, Florida and the Bahamas. 
Moreno has repeatedly received Trump’s praise and also has the endorsement of J.D. Vance – Trump’s handpicked Senator from Ohio. Last month, Moreno followed Trump and called for a government shutdown, which would have forced nearly 53,000 Ohioans to either be furloughed or work without pay. Moreno said he is “unequivocally pro-life,” supports a national abortion ban, and does not support exceptions for rape, incest, or life of the mother. 
Frank LaRose isn’t working for Ohio and will do whatever it takes to support his own political ambitions. Since becoming Ohio’s biggest loser when his amendment designed to silence Ohioans and benefit special interests failed in August, LaRose has faced scandal after scandal – most recently for wasting $600,000 in taxpayer funds to move his official office to his campaign headquarters and reports that he is “laser focused” on his Senate campaign while his official office is “plagued” by turnover. 
LaRose, who downplayed the Trump endorsement earlier this year, is facing attacks from his opponents, Trump’s allies, and Ohio grassroots activists for “twisting himself up” to outrun his critical comments –  including that the former President is “racist,” “disgusting,” and “not a role model for children.” Frank LaRose also supports a national abortion banopposes exceptions for rape or incest, and is trying to silence and mislead Ohioans by rewriting the November ballot language. 
Matt Dolan is trying to buy Ohio’s Senate seat. Dolan has already self-funded $7 million this cycle and is bankrolling his campaign with a “cheap loan” and sweetheart deal only available to the “super wealthy.” Dolan was recently caught slamming his opponents and Donald Trump, saying whoever has the Trump endorsement will eventually lose. Dolan supports banning abortion and has said that defeating the November amendment – which would overturn Ohio’s current dangerous ban with no exceptions for rape or incest – is a “priority.” 
The Bottom Line
With less than six months left in the primary, this slugfest is only getting nastier as it becomes crystal clear that none of the Republicans running for Ohio’s Senate seat are fighting for Ohioans. 

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