Sen. J.D. Vance Endorses GOP’s Bernie Moreno for Senate in 2024 Ohio Primary

FILE - Bernie Moreno is acknowledged at a rally with former President Donald Trump at the
AP Photo/Joe Maiorana, File

Businessman Bernie Moreno, a candidate for the U.S. Senate in Ohio in 2024, picked up the highest profile endorsement so far on Monday, with Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH) publicly backing his campaign.

Vance, who won the 2022 U.S. Senate race in large part thanks to support from former President Donald Trump, endorsed Moreno on Monday morning, making Moreno the clear frontrunner for the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate in 2024 in Ohio.

Senator J. D. Vance, a Republican from Ohio, questions US Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell during a Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on "The Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress," in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on March 7, 2023. (Photo by Mandel NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Senator J. D. Vance, a Republican from Ohio, questions Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell during a committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on March 7, 2023. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

“I’m happy to endorse my friend Bernie Moreno for the United States Senate,” Vance said in a statement. “Bernie is a lifelong businessman, who has created thousands of good-paying middle-class jobs and is a strong America First conservative, who will never stop fighting to protect Ohio workers and families. Bernie is committed to securing our southern border, getting tough on China, and taking the fight to the woke corporations waging war against our conservative values. It’s time to turn the tides on the establishment insiders who sell out our country to special interests and elect more political outsiders like Bernie, who will always put America First in Washington, DC. I’m looking forward to having Bernie as a colleague in the U.S. Senate.”

Moreno thanked Vance in a statement after the endorsement.

“I’m honored to have earned the endorsement of Senator Vance,” Moreno said. “Not only is he a close personal friend, but as a fellow political outsider and entrepreneur, he’s shown that DC desperately needs new ways of thinking. When I win this race, I’ll stand shoulder to shoulder with JD in the Senate to fight for Ohio families, end the invasion at our southern border, protect American culture and traditions, rein in Big Tech and Big Media, stop Biden’s radical Green New Deal policies and defend our America First conservative values against the unholy alliance of woke corporations and Big Government. The career politicians and establishment insiders in both parties have failed us all, and just like JD, I will be a fighter for Ohio’s workers and families against the corrupt special interests in the swamp. As Senator, Ohioans can trust that I will always do everything possible to grow our middle class and will be dedicated to putting what’s best for America and its people at the center of everything I do.”

Senator Sherrod Brown, a Democrat from Ohio and chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, speaks during a hearing in Washington, D.C., US, on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022. The hearing is titled "Tightening the Screws on Russia: Smart Sanctions, Economic Statecraft and Next Steps." Photographer: Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat from Ohio and chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, speaks during a hearing in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022. (Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The winner of the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate in 2024 in Ohio will face off against longtime incumbent Democrat Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH). Senate Republicans view this race, along with those races in West Virginia and in Montana, as paramount to their chances of retaking the majority in the U.S. Senate next year.

Vance, a freshman U.S. senator who won the 2022 election in Ohio, has been shaking things up in the U.S. Senate since his arrival there at the beginning of the year. Not only is he one of a dozen senators endorsing Trump for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, but he also helped organize Trump’s trip to East Palestine in the wake of the train derailment that spilled toxic chemicals into the area. That trip, a huge success for Trump, earlier this year saw the beginning of a massive surge in polling over the rest of the actual and potential 2024 GOP presidential field.

Trump himself has not yet endorsed in the emerging 2024 Ohio GOP senatorial primary field, but has spoken highly of Moreno — and Moreno has already endorsed Trump for president next year.

Failed 2022 senate candidate and establishment Republican Matt Dolan — whose family owns Cleveland’s Major League Baseball team and caved to woke leftists agreeing to change the name of it from the Cleveland Indians to the Cleveland “Guardians” — is also running for the nomination. Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose is considering entering the field but has not yet formally announced a campaign. Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH), who is aligned with the anti-Trump Club for Growth, has been reportedly considering a run as well, but many conservatives believe this early consolidation by people like Vance and likely Trump behind Moreno might cause some others to reconsider.

“Beyond being personally close to Bernie and viewing him as an ideological ally, JD is endorsing Bernie so early because he feels strongly about ensuring that we don’t see a replay of the type of bloody primary fight that he had to deal with last cycle, which left him with depleted resources going into the general election,” a source close to Vance said about the senator’s thinking behind endorsing Moreno early. “He believes that Bernie is the candidate best positioned to quickly unify both the conservative grassroots and the Ohio donor class around his campaign to give Republicans the strongest shot at defeating Sherrod Brown next year.”

Moreno has been solidifying party and movement support since announcing his bid recently, including winning the endorsement recently of Turning Point Action and Charlie Kirk.

Moreno also ran for the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate in 2022 but ended up dropping out of the race before the election to help Vance when it became clear Trump was getting behind Vance. Moreno fundraised and campaigned with Vance across the state of Ohio, and even played Vance’s Democrat opponent then-Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) in debate prep sessions for Vance.

Moreno’s career in business — he ran a chain of auto dealerships across Ohio — allows him to self-fund his campaign, but he has also, both in 2022 and in this current campaign, demonstrated fundraising prowess above and beyond expectations. In his first week after launching this campaign, Moreno announced raising more than half a million dollars.

In addition, during his 2022 campaign, Moreno posted the highest quarter of anyone in the rest of the field the whole race with $2.25 million raised in the second quarter of 2021.


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