LaRose wins Republican secretary of state primary

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose won the Republican primary to retain his office.

LaRose finished with nearly 65% of the vote, and challenger John Adams finished with about 35%, according to final, unofficial results from the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office.

LaRose issued a statement thanking voters for their endorsement, but warning that “our opponents have put a national target on this race.”

“For more than three years, we’ve traveled across this state listening to people from all walks of life and learning about the issues people care about, from securing our elections to helping job creators pursue their dreams,” he said. “As a result, we’ve made incredible progress in making Ohio a model for fair and accurate elections, and we’ve helped Ohioans create more businesses than at any time in our state’s history. There’s more work to do, and this commanding primary victory gives us the energy and optimism to keep working tirelessly, not only in our campaign but also in the office we’ve been entrusted to serve.”

He will face Democrat Chelsea Clark in the Nov. 8 general election. Clark, a Cincinnati businesswoman and Forest Park city council member, ran unopposed in the Democratic primary.

She released a statement tying her campaign to the Civil Rights Movement.

“We have to protect our gains and ensure that every eligible Ohioan has unobstructed access to the voting process,” she said. “Over the last few years, tens of thousands of Ohioans have been purged from voter rolls, rural voters have had to navigate bad weather and long drives to drop off their ballots during an unprecedented global pandemic, and scandal has plagued the Secretary of State’s office time and time again.”

The secretary of state is one of six members of the executive department, established in Article III of the Ohio Constitution. The officeholder serves as the state’s chief election officer, appointing members to Ohio’s 88 county boards of elections; and oversees business registration and records, according to the office’s website.

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LaRose, the incumbent, was endorsed April 21 by former President Donald Trump during Trump’s visit to Ohio.

LaRose, 43, grew up near Akron and graduated from Copley High School. He joined the U.S. Army in 1998 and became a Green Beret. He attended Ohio State University, graduating in 2007, then worked for a consulting firm.

He was elected to the Ohio Senate in 2010 and served until 2018, when he was elected secretary of state.

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