Mar 10, 2022 - Politics

Big money flowing in Ohio's Senate races

U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel of Ohio speaks at a CPAC convention.

Josh Mandel, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate for Ohio, speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando on Feb. 25. He and other candidates have spent millions of dollars in the Senate primary thus far. Photo: Tristan Wheelock/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Ohio's Senate primary remains on a bruising, expensive collision course toward Election Day in May.

State of play: Both parties have contested primaries, but the GOP race has gotten the most attention due to its crowded field and mega ad spending.

The latest: Two recent polls put entrepreneur Mike Gibbons and former state treasurer Josh Mandel out in front with a few weeks until early voting begins.

  • Trailing are author and venture capitalist J.D. Vance, former Ohio GOP chair Jane Timken and state Sen. Matt Dolan.
  • Timken was recently endorsed by Rob Portman, the retiring senator each candidate is seeking to replace.

The intrigue: Trump has yet to make an endorsement, which would instantly shake up the race and tilt the scales toward the selected candidate.

  • All but Dolan, the race's leading moderate, are vying to be the Trump pick.

Meanwhile, the Democratic primary features Congressman Tim Ryan, attorney and activist Morgan Harper and tech executive Traci Johnson.

What's next: The Ohio Debate Commission will host a pair of televised debates on March 28 at Central State University.

  • The Democrats will debate from 11:30am-12:30pm, with the Republicans slotted for 7-8:30pm.
 Top 10 Senate candidate fundraisers in 2021
Entrepreneur Mike Gibbons, a primarily self-financed candidate, entered 2022 having raised the ninth-largest amount of any U.S. Senate candidate. Data: FEC; Chart: Baidi Wang/Axios

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