WASHINGTON, DC – Suburban Cleveland State Senator Matt Dolan visited 32 of Ohio counties this summer to hear from Republican voters as he explored a candidacy for the U.S. Senate.
What would you like to know
- State Senator Matt Dolan entered the race for the U.S. Senate from Ohio in 2022 on Monday
- Dolan is the only Republican candidate to run a campaign not focused on former President Trump
- Dolan is a former state lawmaker whose family owns the Cleveland Indians
- He told Spectrum News he believed voters would be drawn to a thematic campaign,
In an interview on Monday, he said he came out convinced they might not want a staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump to succeed retired Senator Rob Portman.
“I think what I was hearing was that they appreciated that I had the passion of the former president, but maybe my tone is a little different,” Dolan told Spectrum News. “But the tone doesn’t set the political agenda, the results do.”
Dolan, a former state lawmaker and descendant of the Cleveland Indian family, became the sixth major Republican to compete in the Ohio U.S. Senate race on Monday in 2022.
The other five are former Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, former Ohio GOP President Jane Timken, Cleveland businessmen Mike Gibbons and Bernie Moreno, and author and venture capitalist JD Vance.
“I’m all for something,” he told Spectrum News, adding that he was the only Republican candidate currently holding an elected post. “Everyone in the race just wants to be against things. Ohio can’t grow if no one in Washington is fighting for it.
Dolan said he hopes to stand out as the most moderate candidate in a group of Republicans pushing for Trump’s approval.
He is committed to campaigning against the policies of President Joe Biden and focusing on issues such as border security and fiscal conservatism. But unlike his opponents, Dolan plans to stay clear of the plots Trump has promoted and the shattering policies Trump practices.
Dolan doesn’t think the 2020 election was stolen; he calls the January 6 insurrection a dark day for Americans; and he won’t say if he thinks Trump should run again.
“People want us to work for them. They don’t want bomb throwers. They want something to be done, ”he said.
Dolan also spent the summer congratulating Senator Rob Portman, who will retire next year in part because Washington has become so confrontational.
Dolan is the only Republican Senate candidate to back the bipartisan $ 1,000 billion infrastructure deal Portman helped secure this summer. He said it’s an example of how the next senator from Ohio should approach work.
When asked if it was fair to say he was campaigning to be the next Portman in the Senate, Dolan told Spectrum News, “If you mean a committed Republican who will fight for Ohio, so yes.”
Justin Buchler, professor of political science at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio, said it was too early to say whether Dolan’s strategy of building on his political background and moving away from Trump will work in a state that Trump has won twice by eight points.
“His main strength is that he has elected experience and, statistically, is a pretty good predictor of success in a campaign in Congress, the House or the Senate,” Buchler said. “But at the same time, it is possible that the party has simply moved away from where Dolan is.”
As of Monday night, Trump had yet to approve the race.
Two Democrats are also in contention: Northeast Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan and progressive lawyer Morgan Harper.