Chagrin Falls, OH – State Senator Matt Dolan officially entered the race for U.S. Senate in Ohio today for the seat being vacated by the retirement of Senator Rob Portman. The news quickly spread to all corners of the state, largely focused on Dolan’s entry changing the focus and dynamic of the race.
Here’s what they’re saying:
“Matt Dolan on Monday announced his candidacy, charging that ‘Ohio is under attack by the socialist agenda being pushed by President Biden and Democrats like Tim Ryan and Chuck Schumer.’
“But Dolan…also indirectly took aim at the Republican candidates already running, saying ‘it’s clear that the focus of the race for the U.S. Senate has yet to be about our people, our interests, and our beloved state. This changes today with the announcement of my candidacy for U.S. Senate’.”
Liz Skalka, formerly with The Toledo Blade
“Dolan is an experienced state legislator and has money to float his campaign, so he’ll definitely be one to watch.”
“As part of the GOP leadership in Columbus, Dolan told WVXU he has a record he can point to, including a 48% decrease in income taxes and the fact that abortions in the state are down 58% while he has been in office. Pretty good stuff to feed a crowd of hungry conservative Republican primary voters.”
“…it is impossible to get [Dolan] to say anything truly negative about the former president. He is certainly not going to get involved in the on-going scrum to win the 45th president’s endorsement – if and when Trump decides to give it. So far, though, Trump just seems content to torture the Ohio GOP candidates by holding back.
“He’d much rather talk about President Joe Biden and why he thinks the 46th president has been a disaster – the total pullout from Afghanistan ‘which has cost American soldiers their lives,’ and how Biden ‘is killing the American economy.’
“‘I’m a conservative who wants to go to Washington and stand up against the Biden administration,’ Dolan said.”
The Cleveland Plain Dealer
“Steve Stivers, a former Republican congressman who leads the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, said Dolan has an opportunity to position himself differently than the rest of the field. He described a similar calculation Stivers himself was making earlier this year as he was considering running for Senate, before he quit politics to take the chamber of commerce job instead.
“’Someone’s going to win the primary with 30-35%,’ Stivers said. ‘There’s more than one way to skin that cat, especially in a crowded field. And a lot of the other candidates are focused on that one [100% pro-Trump] lane, so Dolan is in a unique position.’
“’It’s very early, but a lot of the people I’ve talked to in the past couple of days are really excited, and he brings a unique perspective and record as a legislator,’ Stivers said.”
“Robert C. Smith, a prominent Cleveland businessman who chairs the JobsOhio board, said Dolan has a positive reputation with business leaders in Cleveland and Columbus that could help attract business backing. ‘He’s the one who has demonstrated being a principled elected office holder,’ said Smith, who penned a recent op-ed supporting Dolan and Portman’s infrastructure bill.”
ABC 5 Cleveland
“…Dolan is running as more a traditional conservative Republican.”
“…[Dolan] said he sees himself as an edgier Rob Portman and said he supports the infrastructure bill Portman helped craft, a plan denounced by his opponents.”
Spectrum News 1
“'[Dolan’s] primary strength is that he does have elected experience and, statistically, that’s a pretty good predictor of success in a congressional campaign, House or Senate,’ [Political Science Professor Justin] Buchler said.”
“Dolan is making a more centrist appeal. While the leading GOP Senate candidates have all followed Trump’s lead in criticizing the bipartisan $550 billion infrastructure bill that Portman helped negotiate, for example, Dolan supported the measure because of the funding it would bring for the Brent Spence Bridge and other needed Ohio projects.”
The Toledo Blade
“‘Ohioans want jobs, not a federal government paying people to not work,’ [Dolan] said. ‘Ohioans want security, not a federal government who opens our borders and defunds our police. And Ohioans want a problem-solver who has successfully faced Ohio’s biggest challenges impacting our quality of life, not the political blame game that lacks commonsense solutions.
“‘I have a proven conservative record of success to meet this moment and to get to work on my first day in the U.S. Senate to put the needs of our state and nation first,’ he said.
“While touting his conservative credentials of playing a role in cutting taxes in Ohio as a state senator and representative, Mr. Dolan seeks to chart out a more moderate lane similar to that of Mr. Portman, at least when compared to his fellow Republicans in the race.”
“Dolan has previously cast himself as a tough but pragmatic politician in the tradition of Portman and the late astronaut and U.S. Sen. John Glenn — the latter a bold reference to a Democrat in a state where politics are increasingly polarized.”
“The move comes months after the Chagrin Falls Republican launched a statewide listening tour to gauge whether voters have the appetite for a candidate like him. The answer, [Dolan] says, is a resounding yes.
“‘I’m the only one with experience,’ Dolan said in a recent interview. ‘I’m the only one that has taken smart, conservative principles and produced results for the state of Ohio.’
“Dolan, whose family owns the newly renamed Cleveland Guardians, was first elected to represent Ohio’s 24th Senate District in 2016. As chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, he played an integral role in passing a two-year spending plan dubbed the most conservative budget in legislative history.”
Learn more about Matt Dolan’s campaign for U.S. Senate at www.dolanforohio.com.