Ohio front-runner raises $2.25M this quarter in competitive GOP Senate primary

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Ohio GOP Senate primary candidate Bernie Moreno on Wednesday announced that his campaign reached $2.25 million in donations during the second quarter of 2021.

The Cleveland businessman outraised at least three other GOP candidates, including two-time Senate candidate Josh Mandel ($1.5 million), former state GOP chair Jane Timken ($1.4 million) and 2018 Ohio Republican Senate candidate Mike Gibbons ($6 million, including a $5 million personal investment), according to Ohio newspaper The Vindicator.

Candidate and “Hillbilly Elegy” author J.D. Vance is not reporting his campaign’s earnings until the end of the third quarter.

“We raised more money this quarter than any other Republican or Democrat in the race because Ohio voters want a successful business leader and political outsider to make Ohio the best place to live, work, grow a business or raise a family,” Moreno told Fox News in a statement. “There is tremendous energy and excitement in our campaign among small-dollar donors and voters.”

2022 Ohio Senate primary candidate Bernie Moreno.
(Bernie Moreno campaign)

Moreno, who came to the U.S. from Colombia with his mother when he was 5 years old, has not accepted any corporate PAC money and has not made any personal investments, according to his office.

Once a top general election battleground state, former President Trump won Ohio both in 2016 and last year. Nearly all of 2022 GOP Senate candidates have strongly spotlighted their support for the former president.

Richard Grenell, who served as acting director of national intelligence and U.S. ambassador to Germany in the Trump administration, is backing Moreno.

The U.S. Senate is currently split 50-50 along party lines, but the Democrats hold a razor-thin majority, due to the tie-breaking vote of Vice President Kamala Harris, who serves as president of the Senate. That means the GOP only needs a one-seat pickup to regain the majority.

But Republicans are defending 20 of the 34 seats up for grabs in 2022. Besides Ohio, the GOP is also defending open seats in the key battlegrounds of North Carolina and Pennsylvania, as well as in Missouri and Alabama.

Fox News’ Tyler Olson contributed to this report.

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