Portman endorses Dolan in Ohio Senate GOP primary

Former Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) endorsed state Sen. Matt Dolan (R) in the Ohio Senate GOP primary on Friday.

“The contest for the Republican nomination includes three candidates who are good people, who care deeply about our state,” Portman and his wife wrote in a letter. “After much consideration, we feel that Matt Dolan’s conservative record of accomplishment and his commitment to continue to focus on achieving results in the U.S. Senate set him apart.”

“Our party and our state have consistently looked to Matt as a leader, capable of working with others to achieve important policy wins for Ohio,” they added. “From expanding school choice, to cutting taxes, protecting our natural resources, and implementing a pro-growth agenda, Matt’s results-oriented focus makes him the candidate best suited to be successful in solving problems in the U.S. Senate, too.”

Dolan is one of three top Republican contenders vying for the Republican nomination to take on Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) in November. Trump-endorsed businessman Bernie Moreno and Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose are also running for the GOP nod.

Portman’s endorsement puts him at odds with Sen. JD Vance (R-Ohio), who succeeded Portman in the Senate and has backed Moreno in the primary.

Polling has shown a tight matchup when any of three Republicans are put into hypothetical match-ups with Brown. An Emerson College Polling survey conducted in late January found Brown leading LaRose and Moreno each by 2 percentage points and Dolan by 1 point — both within the poll’s margin of error of 2.3 percentage points.

When the survey polled the GOP contenders together, Moreno sat at 22 percent, LaRose sat at 21 percent and Dolan sat at 15 percent, while 42 percent were undecided.

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