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FIRST ON FOX: One of the main candidates in Ohio’s crowded and contentious Republican Senate nomination race is taking aim at his rivals in a closing ad blitz ahead of the May 3 primary, accusing them of “incessant nonsense, negative attacks, and lack of focus on Ohio.”
In a campaign commercial launched on Friday by Senate candidate Matt Dolan and shared first with Fox News, the narrator touts the state senator’s “record of conservative results. Cutting taxes. Protecting Ohio jobs. Securing the border and funding police.”
Dolan, who is a former county chief assistant prosecutor and state assistant attorney general before winning election to the state senate, and one of the co-owners of Major League Baseball’s Cleveland Guardians, in the ad says to the camera “that’s what matters in this campaign. Because it’s all about Ohio.”
Dolan is one of eight GOP candidates running in the race to succeed retiring Republican Sen. Rob Portman. The combustible primary field also includes 2018 Ohio Republican Senate candidate Mike Gibbons, a Cleveland entrepreneur, real estate developer and investment banker; former Ohio treasurer and former two-time Senate candidate Josh Mandel; venture capitalist and bestselling author J.D. Vance; and former Ohio GOP Chair Jane Timken.
But Dolan is the only one of the major contenders not making a pitch to land the endorsement of former President Donald Trump, who 15 months removed from the White House remains the most popular and influential politician in the GOP as he continues play a kingmaker’s role in Republican primaries and repeatedly hints about making another presidential run in 2024. Trump to date has remained neutral in the Ohio race.
As the other leading candidates continue to try to one up each other in showcasing their support and loyalty to Trump, the nomination battle has turned increasingly antagonistic, with the candidates and outside groups backing them attacking each other. Things have gotten so heated that Gibbons and Mandel nearly came to blows at a recent debate.
“My opponents are focused on name-calling instead of results. They attack and insult each other. Even had a near fistfight,” Dolan says in his ad. “So forget all their nonsense. This is your Senate seat. Because Ohio is what matters.”
Dolan’s campaign tells Fox News the new commercial is part of their $2 million ad buy to run spots statewide on TV, digital, and radio in during the homestretch of the campaign. That brings the campaign’s total amount spent in ad buys during the primary to $9 million.
And Dolan’s team says the new ad is timed to coincide with the launch of an 18-city campaign swing by the candidate that they’re calling his “No Nonsense” tour. Dolan will visit cities and small towns across Ohio to emphasize his focus on finding solutions to the challenges everyday Ohioans are facing, the campaign said.
The release of Dolan’s ad comes a day after Fox News reported that scores of Ohio state and county GOP officials sent a letter to Trump urging him not to make an endorsement in the Republican Senate primary, amid a report from NBC News that the former president was planning to back Vance.
The winner of the GOP primary may face off in November’s general election against longtime Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan of northeastern Ohio. Ryan is considered the favorite for the Democratic nomination in the race that also includes progressive Morgan Harper, a former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau senior adviser and 2020 congressional candidate.