CLEVELAND — Ohio State Sen. Matt Dolan on Tuesday announced his candidacy for a U.S. Senate seat, seeking the Republican nomination and the right to face incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown.
NBC's Henry J. Gomez first reported Monday that Dolan would throw his hat in the ring. The 58-year-old Dolan released the following statement Tuesday, announcing his candidacy:
"America's challenges demand the focus of experienced leaders who reject fictional grievances and are ready to do the hard work of getting results to make our future better than the past. The crises confronting our nation today are entirely self-made. The botched withdrawal from Afghanistan emboldened America's adversaries. A failure to adhere to the rule of law has resulted in humanitarian and security crises on our southern border that undermine our national sovereignty and strain law enforcement."
Dolan spoke to 3News' Russ Mitchell about his second attempt for the U.S. Senate during an interview on Zoom on Tuesday evening.
"I know I have the skillset and I have the experience. I've fought hard for Ohio, I've fought very hard for Northeast Ohio. I've put myself into leadership positions to make Ohio a better place to live and a better place to work," Dolan told Mitchell.
You can watch Russ Mitchell's full interview with Matt Dolan on Tuesday in the player below:
Dolan, a Chardon native whose family owns the Cleveland Guardians, previously served in the Ohio House of Representatives from 2005-10 before resigning to run for the new Cuyahoga County Executive position. He lost to Democrat Ed FitzGerald, but six years later was elected to represent suburban Cuyahoga County in the state senate's 24th district.
After winning reelection in 2020, Dolan decided to seek the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by the retiring Republican Rob Portman. During the primary, he made headlines as the only GOP candidate to push back on former President Donald Trump's lies that the 2020 election had been "stolen," and despite sharply criticizing the Biden administration on issues like immigration and inflation, he also vocally supported the bipartisan infrastructure bill Portman championed and President Joe Biden signed.
Despite a late surge in the polls, Dolan finished third in the Republican primary, and later endorsed eventual general election winner JD Vance. Though Vance was Trump's favored pick, several other candidates backed by the former president lost in swing states, and the GOP managed to take only a slim majority in the House while also failing to take the Senate. Some believe this could provide an opening to "non-Trump" Republicans such as Dolan.
"I am unapologetically committed to putting the needs of Ohio first and delivering results as our next U.S. Senator," Dolan added in his announcement. "With the courage of my convictions, clarity of purpose and a resolute focus on the challenges and opportunities facing our beloved state, I am ready to lead."
Brown, a 70-year-old Mansfield native, is currently Ohio's only statewide elected Democrat. Ironically, the former congressman got to the Senate in 2006 by unseating the incumbent DeWine, and later won second and third terms over Mandel and former Rep. Jim Renacci, respectively.
"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," Ohio Democratic party Chair Elizabeth Walters wrote of Dolan's candidacy. "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."
Per Ohio law, Dolan is prevented from running for a third term in the Ohio Senate in 2024.
Editor's Note: This story previously described Dolan as a "former" state senator, when in fact he is currently serving his second term. This error has been corrected.