Trump wades into key 2024 Senate race, endorsing Bernie Moreno in Ohio

Former President Donald Trump threw his support behind Republican businessman Bernie Moreno in Ohio’s Senate race Tuesday evening, granting his endorsement in a Truth Social post.

The endorsement puts Trump in the middle of one of the most important 2024 Senate races in the country. Republicans need a net gain of two seats to take control of the Senate outright, or one seat plus the tie-breaking vice presidency. And the GOP is going after three Democratic-held Senate seats in states that Trump carried twice: West Virginia, Montana and Ohio.

In Ohio, Moreno is competing with Secretary of State Frank LaRose and state Sen. Matt Dolan for the Republican nomination to face Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown. Trump had previously encouraged Moreno, stopping just shy of endorsing the wealthy businessman, who is the father-in-law of GOP Rep. Max Miller, a former Trump aide.

Even before endorsing, Trump loomed over the primary, with past Trump-critical comments from LaRose, Dolan and Moreno weighing on local Republicans as they decided between the candidates.

Trump’s endorsement has been critical in a number of recent Senate races, though many of his picks in 2022 went on to lose to Democrats in the general election.

But Trump’s backing was decisive for now-Sen. J.D. Vance in Ohio last year. Vance shot from the middle of a crowded GOP primary pack to win the nomination following Trump’s endorsement, before winning the Senate seat comfortably in November.

Moreno recently touted Trump’s support in a state-wide ad focused on the southern border.