Trump-Backed Candidate Defeats Establishment Favorite In Key Swing-State Primary

(Photo by KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Hailey Gomez General Assignment Reporter
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Businessman Bernie Moreno will now continue on to Ohio’s 2024 general elections after beating GOP state Sen. Matt Dolan on Tuesday.

With the state’s polls closed at 7:30 p.m., the neck-in-neck race showed Moreno just slightly beating Dolan by roughly 5 points and sitting at 41.6% during the time of publication, according to the New York Times. Dolan received 36.4% of the state’s support, with fellow candidate Secretary of State Frank LaRose in third place at 22%, according to the outlet. (RELATED: GOP Congressional Candidate Accidentally Announces Concession Before Polls Closed)

The tight race between Moreno and Dolan began to heat up after former President Donald Trump issued his formal endorsement of Moreno in December 2023. While Moreno had briefly run for the Senate in 2022, which Republican Sen. J.D. Vance now holds, many Ohio voters were unaware of his work as Dolan has been the GOP’s praised pick.

As the two have both touted themself as voter-driven candidates, Moreno told the Daily Caller News Foundation that he would be the “America-First conservative who will stand with President Trump,” stating Dolan would support “mass amnesty, gun control, and unlimited funding for Ukraine. The contrast could not be clearer.” Dolan, however, called out Moreno’s non-existent “record” and told the DCNF that the business would have no chance at beating Democratic candidate Sherrod Brown in the general election.

Moreno will now face off with Brown in November, which is notably one of the GOP’s best chances to flip a seat and potentially gain ground in the Senate. Brown previously won his first two terms in 2006 and 2012 as Ohio was still considered a swing state, and then his third in 2018. While running during former President Barack Obama’s election year, Brown improved Obama’s by roughly three points.