FILE PHOTO: U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) makes an opening statement during the Senate Homeland Security and Government / Rules and Administration hearing in support of the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol Hill in Washington, USA on March 3, 2021. Greg Nash / Pool via REUTERS / File Photo
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Cleveland businessman Bernie Moreno announced his candidacy for the US Senate on Tuesday, appearing as a Republican underdog who would protect the “victories” of former President Donald Trump if he took the retired senator’s seat Rob Portman would be elected.
Moreno, 54, is the fifth Republican Senate to join an increasingly crowded field in 2022 that includes former Ohio Republican Party leader Jane Timken and former state treasurer Josh Mandel. Several other Republicans are considering runs.
Portman, 65, a Republican who joined the Senate a decade ago, announced his resignation in January. The deepening of the political divisions made it more difficult to overcome the partisan backlog in Congress.
As a car dealer and tech entrepreneur, Moreno posted a two-minute campaign video on Twitter in which he vowed to fight the “socialist left” agenda. He said he left his native Colombia as a child with his mother and siblings for the United States to escape socialism.
He also vowed to “take action against China” and promised to reject campaign contributions from corporate action committees.
“Four years ago we sent Donald J. Trump, an outsider and businessman, to Washington to mess things up. And he did. We have to protect his victories, ”says Moreno in the video.
“If we want to protect this country from the socialist left and build this valuable idea on the concept of freedom, we need outsiders to back up their words with action.”
Trump won Ohio by eight percentage points in both the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections.
Reporting by David Morgan; Adaptation by Jonathan Oatis