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Cleveland businessman Bernie Moreno announces U.S. Senate bid

“I came from a country surrounded by the ideology of radicals like Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, who promised to give everyone all they needed and solve all their problems — just like Bernie Sanders and AOC are doing today,” Bernie Moreno said in his announcement.
Bernie Moreno
Cleveland businessman Bernie Moreno. (Image captured from video)

CLEVELAND (AP) — A Cleveland businessman whose family immigrated to the U.S. from Colombia when he was a child said today he'll campaign for the U.S. Senate seat that fellow Republican Rob Portman intends to leave next year.

Bernie Moreno's announcement said he is joining the race because he wants "to stop the socialist agenda, protect the gains made by President Donald J. Trump and protect the American Dream.”

“I came from a country surrounded by the ideology of radicals like Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, who promised to give everyone all they needed and solve all their problems — just like Bernie Sanders and AOC are doing today,” Moreno said in his announcement video. “If we’re going to protect this country from the socialist left and keep this precious idea built on the concept of freedom, then we need outsiders who back up their words with action.”

Moreno, 54, is a political newcomer who made a name for himself in the Cleveland area as a luxury car dealer before turning his focus two years ago to his interest in blockchain — a ledger for recording cybercurrency transactions — and his related technology company.

Portman said in January that he won’t seek re-election in 2022. Those seeking to succeed him are eager for an endorsement from Trump, who twice won Ohio’s presidential electors by more than 8 percentage points.

Democrats weighing a run for the open Senate seat include U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Howland, a D-13th, and Amy Acton, a Youngstown native and former state health director who helped lead Ohio’s early COVID-19 response.