COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Senator Sherrod Brown has his first official re-election challenger, as State Senator Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) launches his campaign for U.S. Senate.
“I have the skillset in my time at the legislature here in Columbus and my time in the private sector to solve problems,” Dolan said. “What I’ve done for the state, I want to do for Washington.”
Dolan served in the Ohio House of Representatives from 2005 to 2010 and has served in the Ohio Senate since 2017. He said he continues to accomplish goals in the state and said that shows Ohioans he is the right person to represent them.
“I’ve put myself in opposition of leadership so I can fight for Ohioans and doing so, I’ve focused on economy and quality of life,” he said. “I’ve reduced taxes, I’ve reduced regulations, I’ve provided business opportunities.”
Most recently at the Ohio Statehouse, Dolan introduced legislation to address gun violence across the state. NBC4’s Statehouse Reporter Natalie Fahmy asked him if he thinks that will help or hurt his campaign.
“I think it’s going to help people understand what I accomplished,” Dolan said. “It was a public safety bill and what we have to recognize is some violence occurs because people are emotionally or mentally unstable.”
Dolan sits on the senate finance committee which oversees the state’s budget. He says something he wants to do in Washington is make sure Americans know how money is being spent.
“That’s how we reduce costs,” Dolan said. “When we expose where our money’s going to and recognize ‘we’re overspending here’ or, ‘we don’t need to spend there.’”
This is not the first time Dolan has run for Congress. He was in the running to replace Senator Rob Portman last year. He finished third in the Republican primary.
“The same challenges I talked about in 2022 remain today,” Dolan said. “We need to secure our border; we need to make sure we’re secure at home and abroad. We need our economy to grow, we need to curb inflation, get our economy going.”
On abortion, Dolan said he thinks it should be decided at the state level.
In a statement, the Ohio Democratic Party said this about his announcement: “Ohio voters have already rejected the Dolan family’s attempt to buy a U.S. Senate seat once, and we’re confident they will again. The contrast couldn’t be clearer: while millionaire Matt Dolan has been a shill for his corporate donors at the statehouse, Sherrod Brown has spent his whole career fighting to put working families first.”
In response, Dolan said, “I think they’re clueless as to how I ran my campaign. I funded my campaign because I got in late, but I also traveled the state, I listened to Ohio families. I talked to political leaders, I talked to business leaders, education leaders and individuals throughout Ohio who I know are impacted each and every day by the failures that are coming out of Washington.”
Dolan is not expected to be the only Republican in the race. In total, seven members of the GOP ran for the office last year.
This time, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose has been widely speculated to enter the race. A spokesperson for LaRose, Rob Nichols, said, “Sherrod Brown has been in office for 48 years, and in 2024, there is a one-shot opportunity to take back the U.S. Senate. Naturally, there is a lot of discussion right now over who is the most qualified candidate to replace him, and Secretary LaRose intends to be a part of that conversation.”