Ohio Senate Republican Candidates Frank LaRose, Matt Dolan Voted for Colleges with Chinese Communist Party-Backed Confucius Institutes

Ohio Secretary Frank LaRose attends a news conference about the American Confidence in Ele
Drew Angerer/Getty Images, AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

Ohio Senate Republican candidates state Sen. Matt Dolan and Secretary of State Frank LaRose voted for funding colleges that have housed Confucius Institutes as conservatives, including Trump-endorsed businessman Bernie Moreno, have scrutinized China’s increasing influence on America’s college campuses.

Conservatives in the Buckeye State have long decried the influence of the Chinese state-funded Confucius Institutes on college campuses. The National Association of Scholars (NAS) noted that the Confucius Institutes often portend to teach American college students about traditional Chinese culture and language — however, they serve to spread Chinese Communist political influence.


Bernie Moreno (BernieMoreno.com)

While some Buckeye State conservatives, such as businessman Moreno, have raised the alarm about Confucius Institutes’ influence in Ohio, some lawmakers have voted to fund colleges that have Confucius Institutes.

Moreno said on his campaign website:

After a long, successful career, Bernie sold most of his business to begin focusing on his calling: protecting the American dream for another generation. He saw the government calling some people essential and other hardworking Ohioans “unessential.” He saw schools shut down and China go unpunished for unleashing a virus on the world. He saw politicians afraid to take on the CCP for stealing our jobs and technology; buying our farmland; and influencing young minds via TikTok and Confucius Institutes. [Emphasis added]

For instance, then-state Sen. LaRose voted for the operating budget for fiscal years 2016 and 2017 that funded college campuses with Confucius Institutes. And, state Sen. Dolan voted for the operating budget for the fiscal year 2018-2019.

Local outlets noted that Confucius Institutes have long been a fixture of Ohio college campuses. Dolan and LaRose supported funding for many of these universities while they served in the state Senate.

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The Confucius Institutes at Cleveland State University (CSU), Miami University of Ohio, and the University of Akron all closed between 2020 and 2022 when conservatives increasingly voiced concerns about Chinese Communist influence on college campuses. However, it does appear that a current Confucius Institute still resides at East Central Ohio Educational Service Center.

Moreno’s opposition to the Confucius Institute on Buckeye State colleges goes beyond vocal opposition; the Ohio businessman chaired the Cleveland State University Board of Trust and chaired the Search Committee for its next president. Under Moreno, they ultimately chose Harlan M. Sands, who oversaw the closure of the Confucius Institute at the university.

“I was proud of my efforts to help recruit and install Harland Sands as President at CSU and was overjoyed that he oversaw the closure of the Confucius Institute at the University,” Moreno told Breitbart News in a written statement. “It’s shameful that both of my opponents voted to fund Ohio Universities without even making an attempt to force them to close down these CCP institutes across Ohio schools.”

Sean Moran is a policy reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.


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