Home Politics Vance bashes Ohio GOP Senate candidate who accused him of ‘insider politics’

Vance bashes Ohio GOP Senate candidate who accused him of ‘insider politics’

Vance bashes Ohio GOP Senate candidate who accused him of ‘insider politics’

Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) slammed Ohio GOP Senate candidate Frank LaRose for comments he purportedly made denouncing Vance’s endorsement of one of LaRose’s primary opponents. 

Vance’s criticism of LaRose, Ohio’s secretary of state, came after the conservative political news website Human Events reported on a leaked recording in which a voice described as LaRose accuses Vance of making an endorsement deal with Ohio GOP Senate candidate Bernie Moreno.

Moreno, a businessman, previously ran against Vance for the Republican nomination to his Senate seat in 2022, but Moreno dropped out of the crowded primary. In May, Vance endorsed Moreno for the GOP nomination to challenge incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), an early endorsement in the primary race.

On the recording, LaRose appears to say that he does not think Vance’s endorsement of Moreno “matters much at all” and was “completely transactional” between the two of them. He alleged that Vance asked Moreno to drop out of the Senate race in 2022 and made an agreement with him.

“They cut a deal, and now J.D.’s paying it back. I think that that’s the kind of dirty insider politics that people don’t like, candidly,” the recording said. 

The Hill has reached out to LaRose and Moreno’s campaigns for comment. 

Vance called the comments “utter bullshit” in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. 

“Bernie Moreno is an America First conservative and a good man. That’s why I endorsed him. Career politician Frank LaRose will lie through his teeth to get power,” he said. 

Vance said Moreno dropped out of the 2022 Senate race that spring and endorsed him shortly after, adding the two had known each other for a “while” before they ran for office. He said he encouraged Moreno at the time to consider running again and later told him he would help if he decided to do so. 

“When he finally jumped in, I endorsed him. That was it. I called the other candidates in the race before I made it public. I wasn’t happy about endorsing against people I knew and liked. I told them I would make my endorsement about Bernie and his positive qualities. Little did I know Frank would start attacking me, over completely made up lies,” Vance said. 

“I have no interest in attacking candidates who are good people, even if I disagree with them, even if I endorse someone else. I will continue to honor that promise. But if you lie about me and attack me, game on,” he added. 

Vance’s criticism of LaRose comes after Moreno has recently scored some high-profile endorsements from top Republican leaders, including former President Trump. 

Trump officially backed Moreno, who has been a vocal supporter for the former president, last month. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), the chair of the House Judiciary Committee and one of the most prominent Ohio Republicans, endorsed Moreno on Monday. 

The endorsements could give Moreno a boost in a three-way race with LaRose and Ohio state Sen. Matt Dolan (R), who also ran in the 2022 Senate race. 

Vance also posted a screenshot of a text he received from former Ohio state Treasurer Josh Mandel, who also ran in 2022, in which Mandel says the accusations against Vance and Moreno are “totally untrue” and reflect LaRose as “desperate.” 

The Ohio Senate race will be one of the most contested races this year, with Republicans seeing a possible pickup opportunity as the party tries to retake a majority in the Senate.

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Source link