Ohio used to be a swing state that often served as a barometer of how the country would vote nationally. But in recent years, the state has turned more "red" with Republicans holding a solid majority in the congressional delegation and every major statewide office. In 2022, the people of Ohio elected Republican J.D. Vance to the U.S. Senate. Ohio's other senator is Democrat Sherrod Brown, who was first elected to the seat in 2006.
Ohio Republicans hope that they can exit the upcoming Republican primary with a good challenger and finally defeat Brown in 2024. But Tom Zawistowski, president of the tea party-affiliated We the People Convention, is concerned about Brown's campaign chest – and whether the "establishment" GOP would rally behind a challenger.
"[Sometimes] you just have to face reality: Sherrod Brown is like the top commie in the Democrat Party – [and] he's going to have a $110 million to run for Senate," he tells AFN. "You could buy a lot of TV ads with that, and you can lie to people with that kind of money."
Then there's the issue of party loyalty. Zawistowski admits he isn't sure Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell even wants Brown to lose.
"Because we could have beaten Sherrod Brown with Jim Renacci in 2018 – and McConnell did nothing," he continues. "So, my other concern is that the Republicans will make a half-hearted effort and not support the candidate who is running against Sherrod Brown … particularly if he's endorsed by Donald Trump.
"So, I'm not taking it for granted. We've got a tough fight on our hands," he concludes, "and I'm getting ready for it."