Ohio Republican Senate candidates face off in forum: 5 things to know

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Feb. 19—The three Ohio Republican candidates for U.S Senate met at a University of Findlay forum on Monday, attacking each other, but also agreeing broadly on issues like an abortion ban, the southern border, and a belief that the country is on the wrong path.

And when it was over each campaign sent emails declaring its candidate the winner.

The Republicans are state Sen. Matt Dolan of Chagrin Falls, Secretary of State Frank LaRose of Columbus, and Bernie Moreno, a businessman from Westlake.

The winner of the March 19 Republican primary election will face U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat who has been in the senate since 2007 and is unopposed in the Democratic Party primary.

The race for the U.S. Senate seat is one of the hottest in the country as Republicans and Democrats battle for control of the narrowly divided Senate, where Democrats currently hold a majority.

Students submitted questions for the forum, which was moderated by Spectrum News 1′s Mike Kallmeyer and was produced and streamed live by Spectrum News 1.

Here are five things to know about the hourlong faceoff:

1. Dolan, LaRose and Moreno all said they support abortion bans and talked about finding ways to support pregnant women to make it less expensive to have children, although they didn't indicate how that would be done.

2. Moreno, who is endorsed by former President Donald Trump, acknowledged he'd been critical of Trump in the past but now believes "he was the greatest president in my lifetime."

3. Dolan said he supported Ohio's wide expansion of taxpayer-funded private school vouchers so parents could get their children out of public schools that he said failed kids either educationally or because "they had a woke agenda in their curriculum."

4. LaRose said he's glad the state legislature banned transgender kids from getting gender-affirming care, which he said is "child abuse and allowing someone to do that to a child should absolutely not be permitted in any civilized society."

5. After the forum Ohio Democratic Party spokeswoman Katie Smith said, "Whether it was Moreno facing more attacks for his history of wage theft, the field supporting a national abortion ban that would overrule Ohioans, saying Ohio workers don't deserve a living wage, or opposing the bipartisan bill to secure the border — Moreno, LaRose, and Dolan made it clear they're only out for themselves."

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