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State Sen. Matt Dolan Considers US Senate Bid, Launches Listening Tour

Seen here in a 2019 file photo, state Sen. Matt Dolan would enter an already crowded field of GOP candidates including “Hillbilly Elegy” author J.D. Vance, businessman Bernie Moreno, former Ohio Republican Party chair Jane Timken and former state treasurer Josh Mandel. [Karen Kasler / Ideastream Public Media]
Ohio State Sen. Matt Dolan at podium in chambers in 2019.

Ohio State Sen. Matt Dolan (Chagrin Falls) is considering a run for Republican Rob Portman’s U.S. Senate seat, announcing Monday the launch of a statewide listening tour, called #OhioMatters, to determine if he’ll enter the race or not.  

Dolan kicks off the listening tour Tuesday at a luncheon to be held at Lake County Republican Headquarters. Over the next two weeks, he’ll move on to Trumbull, Mahoning, Cuyahoga, Franklin, Lorain, Lucas, Wood, Ottawa and Ashland counties.

In a statement, Dolan said his agenda would include championing gun rights, school choice, religious freedom and being pro-life. 

“Joe Biden, Chuck Schumer and Tim Ryan embrace the mantle of socialism,” he said. “They crave the centralization of power and a one-sided radical agenda in Washington. It’s up to Ohio Republicans and our next nominee for U.S. Senate to stop this agenda in its tracks. Our party needs a proven, commonsense conservative reformer who can be counted upon to stand by their word and put Ohio’s needs first. Where others offer talk, I can show results.”

The state Republican Party called the recently passed biennium budget, “the most conservative budget in Ohio legislative history.” 

If Dolan decides to run, he’d be entering an already crowded field of GOP candidates including “Hillbilly Elegy” author J.D. Vance, former Ohio GOP leader Jane Timkenformer state Treasurer Josh Mandel, and  Cleveland businessmen Mike Gibbons and  Bernie Moreno in next year’s primary.  Democrat Rep. Tim Ryan is also vying for the Senate seat.

Dolan, whose family owns the Cleveland baseball team, would likely differentiate himself from the other GOP candidates positioning themselves as Trump surrogates.

 After the Jan. 6 siege on the U.S. Capitol, Dolan tweeted:

Portman, a Republican, announced earlier this year he will not seek a third term.

Jenny Hamel is the host of the “Sound of Ideas.”