No Labels sets call with Ohio GOP candidate, whose team denies it

Ohio Senate candidate Frank LaRose’s campaign denied Tuesday that he was joining a call hosted by centrist group No Labels amid backlash from conservatives.

An email obtained by The Hill invited recipients to join the Tuesday night call with LaRose, the Ohio secretary of state, who is running in a March 19 Senate primary against Trump-backed candidate Bernie Moreno.

But a spokesperson for the LaRose campaign called reports of the No Labels call “fake news.”

“Fake news. there is no call with No Labels. Frank LaRose has nothing to do with this group and his labels are clear: Husband, Father, Green Beret, Conservative, Ohio Republican,” a campaign spokesperson wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

Initial reports of LaRose’s involvement with the No Labels call drew swift criticism from Moreno’s allies.

“Another reason to support Bernie Moreno in Ohio!” Sen. JD Vance (R-Ohio) wrote on X.

“Frank LaRose just got exposed for raising money from one of the biggest pro-amnesty and pro-gun control groups in the country. No Labels supports anti-Trump RINOs like Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney!!!!” Donald Trump Jr., who is backing Moreno, also wrote on X.

The email from co-executive director Liz Morrison outlining Tuesday’s Zoom call describes LaRose as “our longtime friend.”

“We cannot recommend more emphatically your support for Frank Larose,” Morrison added in her email, which was first reported by NBC News. “The choice is now for a Trump Senator or an Independent Senator.”

No Labels has garnered attention for its efforts around the 2024 presidential election. It has gotten on the ballot in more than a dozen states, and the group has said it will decide on whether to give its ballot line to a potential “unity ticket” after Super Tuesday.

A spokesperson for No Labels did not respond to requests for comment.

An Emerson College poll conducted in late January showed Moreno polling at 21 percent, with LaRose and State Sen. Matt Dolan (R) polling at 15 percent.

The stakes in the Republican primary are high, as Ohio is a conservative-leaning state seen as crucial for the party’s efforts to regain control of the upper chamber. The winner of the March 19 primary will take on Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) in November’s general election.

Filip Timotija contributed reporting

Updated at 7:49 p.m.

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