Unbelievable! Moreno Shakes Up Ohio – Lands Stunning Victory in GOP Senate Primary!

In an unexpected turn of events, Moreno clinches a thrilling victory in the Ohio GOP Senate primary. Find out how this political underdog is now set to change the game in the upcoming general election. Don’t miss out on the latest updates!

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Bernie Moreno, a former auto dealer and blockchain entrepreneur, has won Ohio’s Republican Senate nomination, according to NBC News, holding off a late surge from state Sen. Matt Dolan in a heated race between self-funded candidates.

Moreno’s triumph on Tuesday spared former President Donald Trump from disgrace in what had become a fight of a primary. Trump backed Moreno in December and hosted a rally for him last weekend, indicating that he needed assistance crossing the finish line.

“I want to thank President Trump for all he did for me, for this campaign, for his unwavering support, and for his love of this country,” Moreno said in his victory address at a Cleveland suburb hotel. “Because I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone who loves this country the way he does.”

Moreno will face three-term Sen. Sherrod Brown, who ran unchallenged in the Democratic primary on Tuesday, in a general election that will decide Senate control.

Brown is one of two Democratic incumbents running for re-election in states that Trump has won by large percentages twice. The other is Jon Tester of Montana. Both parties intend to spend big on the Ohio election this fall.

Follow live results from the Ohio Republican Senate primary.

Moreno promptly attacked Brown, describing him as a far-left figure.

“You know, the reality is that we have an opportunity,” Moreno informed his followers. “We have an opportunity now to retire the old commie.”

Brown, in a statement posted by his campaign after the election was called, promised to “stand up to anyone who gets in the way” of hardworking Ohioans.

“The choice ahead of Ohio is clear: Bernie Moreno has spent his career and campaign putting himself first and would do the same if elected,” Brown said in a statement. “Elections come down to whose side you’re on, and I’ll always work for Ohio — from standing up to special interests taking advantage of Ohio workers and corporations raising costs for families to making sure our veterans get the healthcare they earned.”

A third Republican contender, state Secretary of State Frank LaRose, started the contest as the front-runner but lacked the means to wage a comprehensive ad campaign or secure major endorsements. He was set to finish in a distant third place.

Despite the ugly tone the election has taken in recent weeks, Moreno had warm words for Dolan and LaRose, describing Dolan’s decision to surrender as kind.

“I think what we have to do now is [have] a fully united party,” Moreno added. “It’s time for that.” “Understand we have one mission, which is to get rid of Sherrod Brown.”

Speaking to reporters at his watch party in the Cleveland suburb of Independence, Dolan praised Moreno and encouraged him, saying, “Rest up tonight, go celebrate, and then go beat Sherrod Brown.”

Trump’s rally in Dayton on Saturday established clear battle lines for the race’s final days, pitting the former president’s MAGA movement against Ohio’s old-guard establishment.

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, Arizona Senate candidate Kari Lake, and Sen. JD Vance, who won a contentious primary here two years ago with Trump’s support, were among those who crisscrossed the state for Moreno in the final stretch. Dolan, meantime, received support from two Trump-averse Republicans, Gov. Mike DeWine and former Sen. Rob Portman.

The frequently acrimonious atmosphere of the GOP primary emphasized the huge stakes in November.

“This is the last gasp of breath for the swamp RINO establishment in Ohio,” Moreno said at Trump’s rally on Saturday. “And on Tuesday, I need you to poke it right in the heart and make it plain that Ohio puts America first. “We do not prioritize the interests of foreign countries.”

Trump’s last-minute visit—a source close to him told NBC News the week before that having him attend a Moreno event was “highly unlikely”—demonstrated how closely Moreno’s political destiny was connected to Trump. Even before Trump officially signed on, Moreno included him in advertisements.

A commercial that ran regularly late last year showed a tape showing Trump praising Moreno to right-wing activists: “We love Ohio,” Trump told the audience. “And we love Bernie Moreno.”

After Trump’s official support, only modest changes were necessary to this plan. His endorsement helped boost Moreno, who, other from a short Senate attempt in 2022, was unfamiliar to voters, and placed him on a par with Dolan and LaRose. Moreno also self-funded a significant portion of his television-heavy campaign, contributing $4.2 million to the cause.

But he found himself in a tight contest with Dolan, whose family made a fortune in the cable television sector and controls Cleveland’s Major League Baseball team. Dolan invested $10 million of his own money, funding an intensive advertising campaign that enabled him to define himself and his policy program sooner and more often than his opponents.

Dolan kept a political distance from Trump, portraying himself as a supporter of “Trump policies” but claiming Trump’s personality “is not me.”

“I’ll let you guys debate that,” Dolan said Tuesday night when asked whether his defeat signaled the end of the old-guard GOP in Ohio. “I knew what I wanted to accomplish in this race, and we came up short.”

Following Dolan’s late surge, Duty and Country, a Democratic super PAC affiliated with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., began a multimillion-dollar ad campaign to promote Moreno by emphasizing his conservative credentials and Trump’s backing. The tampering mirrored Dolan’s probable general election strength – he is well-known among voters in largely Democratic Cuyahoga County, where Brown must run up the score to win in November.

Moreno referenced to the commercial in his victory speech, stating he “wears with honor” his support for and of Trump.

“Bernie Moreno cannot be trusted to put Ohioans’ interests ahead of his own,” JB Poersch, president of the Senate Majority PAC, which is linked with Duty and Country, stated Tuesday night.

LaRose came into the primary with the most name recognition, having won two statewide elections. However, the self-proclaimed “thousandaire” did not have the same financial means as Dolan and Moreno.

His campaign couldn’t afford TV advertisements, so it relied on an allied super PAC, which has mostly targeted Moreno in recent weeks. LaRose spent the final days of the campaign assuming that the many undecided voters who showed up at the polls would vote for the candidate they knew best on Election Day.

“While it is not my time to serve as our party’s nominee for the United States Senate, I am deeply grateful to those who have supported me,” LaRose said in a statement Tuesday night.

The roots of this contest were laid in the state’s 2022 Senate primary, which Vance won. Moreno was briefly a contender, but he pulled out after meeting with Trump and realizing he was unlikely to get his backing. Dolan ran again that year, as the only Republican candidate who did not openly seek Trump’s endorsement. Trump, afraid that a well-funded but disloyal contender may emerge from a crowded field by capturing a tiny percentage of the vote, mocked Dolan over his family’s renaming of the Cleveland Indians as the Guardians.

Moreno followed Trump’s example and backed Vance. So did LaRose, who received Trump’s endorsement for his secretary of state re-election campaign the same day he announced his support for Vance. Dolan finished a reasonably solid third in the seven-way race, due in part to how little he was challenged in TV advertising.

The assaults against Dolan began late last year, reflecting fears that a candidate known for his ambivalence about Trump could win a Republican primary. However, when surveys disproved that notion, Moreno and his supporters ramped up their attacks this month. At Saturday’s event, Trump reiterated his condemnation of the Guardians change and referred to Dolan as a Mitt Romney clone, a stinging assault considering the Utah senator’s vocal dislike for the former president.

“You’ve got to win, Bernie,” Trump remarked at another point during the event, implying that a Moreno defeat would disgrace him. “Do not leave me alone. Do not leave me alone, Bernie.”

In Ohio, state Rep. Derek Merrin, who earned Trump’s last-minute backing, won the GOP primary on Tuesday to face Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur in the 9th congressional district. The race is likely to be one of the more competitive House battlegrounds in autumn.

Former state Sen. Kevin Coughlin emerged from the Republican primary to face rookie Democratic Rep. Emilia Sykes in Ohio’s 13th District, which is also hosting a pivotal House control contest.

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