Frank LaRose’s Primary Problems Spiral Out Of Control
June 15, 2023
New reporting today from NBC details how Frank LaRose’s primary problems are spiraling out of control — highlighting LaRose’s ties to noted Trump-antagonist John Kasich, his pattern of downplaying Trump’s influence, and now his “gentle rebuke” of the former President.
As Donald Trump’s shadow “hangs heavy” over Ohio Republicans’ “family fight,” this is the latest indication of just how messy and chaotic this primary battle will get.
NBC: How Trump’s legal woes are playing in Ohio’s GOP Senate primary
June 15, 2023
- In a key 2024 battle, Bernie Moreno is all-in on Trump. Matt Dolan is ignoring the spectacle. And Frank LaRose is playing to both sides.
- Ohio’s brewing 2024 Senate contest is turning into a real-time illustration of the different ways ambitious Republicans are navigating Donald Trump’s latest legal troubles. And given how acrimonious and expensive (and Trumpy) the last Ohio GOP Senate primary was — now-Sen. JD Vance eventually scored Trump’s endorsement in an early primary that foreshadowed how other Republican contests went — the dynamics are worth watching.
- Previously a Trump skeptic, Moreno is now among his most loyal defenders and had already planned to be in Bedminster for a previously scheduled Trump fundraiser. Trump has encouraged, but not officially endorsed, Moreno’s bid.
- Then there’s Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, who has been telling donors he plans to enter the GOP primary soon. LaRose’s political roots — and many of his long-standing allies in the state party — tie back to former Gov. John Kasich, who carved out a stridently anti-Trump reputation after losing to him in the 2016 presidential primaries. Kasich even endorsed President Joe Biden in 2020. (Kasich is now an NBC contributor.)
- For example: LaRose accepted a Trump endorsement last year while seeking re-election as secretary of state, but more recently he has downplayed Trump’s influence over Republican voters.
- LaRose has not gone out of his way to comment on Trump’s latest legal woes. When asked for comment Wednesday by NBC News, LaRose spokesperson Rob Nichols offered a statement that gently rebuked Trump — though not by name — but also included a common GOP criticism of how the Department of Justice is handling the case.
See also: Mike Pence Makes #OHSEN Republicans’ “Family Fight” Even Messier; This “Family Fight” is Full Steam Ahead; Ethics Concerns Surround Frank LaRose’s “Shadow Campaign” for Ohio’s Senate Seat; More Gasoline Thrown On The Primary Dumpster Fire; ICYMI: Expect a “Bloody Fight” in #OHSEN Republican Primary; Ron DeSantis Creates Chaos in Republicans’ #OHSEN “Family Fight;” J.D. Vance Escalates Ohio Republicans’ “Family Fight” With Endorsement; Donald Trump Looms While the Field Takes Heat; Frank LaRose Doubles Down on His Trump Problem, Jabs at Bernie Moreno *Again*; The Buckeye Battle Continues