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Then-Senate candidate and state Sen. Matt Dolan, R-Chagrin Falls, speaks during Ohio's U.S. Senate Republican Primary debate on March 28, 2022, in Wilberforce, Ohio.
Then-Senate candidate and state Sen. Matt Dolan, R-Chagrin Falls, speaks during Ohio's U.S. Senate Republican Primary debate on March 28, 2022, in Wilberforce, Ohio.Joshua A. Bickel / The Columbus Dispatch via AP, Pool

Eyes on 2024: A year of Senate re-runs?

Republicans who lost key Senate primaries last year could help shape the 2024 calendar.

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The Ohio Senate race, expected to be one of the most competitive of the election cycle, is starting to take shape NBC News’ Henry J. Gomez reports that former GOP state Sen. Matt Dolan is planning to jump into the race against Sen. Sherrod Brown, a top GOP target as one of three Democrats up for re-election in states former President Donald Trump won in 2020. 

Dolan also ran in 2022, coming in third place with 23% of the vote in the GOP primary after spending almost $11 million of his own money on the race. And he’s not the only unsuccessful 2022 contender considering another Senate run. 

Former hedge fund manager David McCormick is reportedly weighing another bid for Senate in Pennsylvania after losing the GOP primary to celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz last year, per the Associated Press. 

Both Dolan and McCormick lost to Trump-endorsed candidates in their primaries. Oz went on to lose in November. “Hillbilly Elegy” author J.D. Vance won in Ohio, but the GOP had to spend millions to boost his candidacy. 

Trump’s preferred candidates’ struggles in the midterms has raised questions about whether his endorsement will carry the same weight in GOP primaries this election cycle. Dolan and McCormick may just find out. 

In other campaign news…

Hoosier Senator?: Indiana GOP Rep. Jim Banks made his Senate bid official Tuesday, dropping a video on social media touting his biography and military service, while criticizing “radical socialists Democrats” and showing an image of him working alongside former President Donald Trump. It’s the opening salvo in what could be one of the more interesting primaries on the map (the Club for Growth PAC immediately endorsed him, pledging to “spend whatever it takes to help Banks secure the nomination and victory.”

 

Political pasta-bilities: Politico’s Jonathan Martin reports on how a recent donor dinner put on by Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis (with Italian food flown in from New York) offers a glimpse into how the possible presidential heavy-hitter is trying to woo insiders despite a reputation for “aloofness.” 

 

Trump denies rape allegation: Trump denied in an October deposition unsealed on Friday that he raped E. Jean Carrol in the 1990s, also insulting the writer. 

 

Texas two-step: Former GOP Rep. Will Hurd is traveling to New Hampshire at the end of the month to speak at the state GOP’s annual meeting, per Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser. And Texas GOP Gov. Greg Abbott responded to Fox’s questions about whether he’s weighing a presidential bid by saying “it’s not something I’m ruling in right now.” 

 

Leaving the loopholes: NBC News’ Alex Seitz-Wald and Allan Smith report that the controversy surrounding disgraced former cryptocurrency executive Sam Bankman-Fried’s campaign donations is unlikely to change campaign finance laws

 

PA postmortem: The Pennsylvania GOP is conducting a postmortem after a disappointing showing in the midterms, Politico reports, conducted by Public Opinion Strategies (the GOP half of the team that conducts NBC’s polling). 

 

Santos saga, part 384: The Washington Post reports that embattled Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., “has deeper ties than previously known to a businessman who cultivated close links with a onetime Trump confidant and who is the cousin of a sanctioned Russian oligarch.”

 

Donor drama: A group of about 150 prominent GOP donors are backing RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel’s re-election in a new letter that comes days after her primary foe, California Republican National Committeewoman Harmeet Dhillon, has touted her own mega-donor support. 

 

Watch this space: Politico dives into this year’s Supreme Court race in Wisconsin, which the state Democratic Party chairman dubbed “the most important election that nobody’s ever heard of.”