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Bernie Moreno projected to win Ohio's Republican primary for US Senate

Ohio's Tuesday primary sets up a key U.S. Senate race for November, when Moreno is projected to face Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown.
Businessman Bernie Moreno
Posted at 9:00 PM, Mar 19, 2024

Scripps News and Decision Desk HQ project Bernie Moreno will be the winner of Ohio's Republican primary for U.S. Senate.

Ohio's Tuesday primary sets up a key U.S. Senate race for November when Moreno, as the primary's projected winner, will face Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown.

Moreno, a businessman who has been endorsed by Trump, ran in the primary against Republican state Sen. Matt Dolan and Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose.

Moreno made headlines last week when The Associated Press reported there was an account in his name on AdultFriendFinder, a website for arranging casual sexual encounters. 

The account was created in 2008 and last accessed just hours after its origination. A message on the account said the owner was "looking for young guys to have fun with while traveling."

A lawyer for Moreno told the AP one of Moreno's interns had created the account as a prank.

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Republican U.S. Senate candidate Matt Dolan speaks to supporters

Ohio GOP Senate candidate talks mudslinging, abortion and accusations

As his opponent's alleged Adult Friend Finder account surfaced, U.S. Senate hopeful Matt Dolan gave a one-on-one interview to Scripps News.

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Insiders told the AP the scandalous development had led some Republicans to worry about Moreno's viability in a general election.

Sen. Brown's seat could help tip close Senate balances in Republicans' favor going forward. Currently, Democrats hold a 51-49 voting majority.

Brown's Democratic seat has become more of an outlier in recent years, as Ohio as a whole has elected more Republicans since Trump flipped the state red in 2016.