Ohio GOP election chief defeats enemy in primary | News, Sports, Jobs

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio Republican incumbent election leader Frank LaRose, backed by former President Donald Trump, won Tuesday’s primary against conservative challenger John Adams, who questioned the results of the 2020 presidential election.

LaRose will face Democrat Chelsea Clark, a suburban Cincinnati City Council member and businesswoman, in the November general election.

Clark ran unopposed in the primary.

LaRose, a former Green Beret, was elected in 2018 after serving in the state Senate.

Despite Adams’ open questioning of the 2020 results, Trump’s endorsement of LaRose was expected given LaRose’s 2016 endorsement of Trump and his role on a team that handled the logistics of the Trump’s 2017 inauguration. LaRose also brings Incumbent strength to his campaign and embraced some of Trump’s talking points on voter fraud ahead of Trump’s endorsement.

In March 2020, as concerns over COVID-19 accelerated, LaRose ordered all 88 Ohio County Boards to comply with the state health director’s order the day before the primary on March 17 to close polling stations to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

He postponed in-person voting until June 2.

This schedule was later challenged in court by the Ohio Democratic Party, which argued that all remaining votes be cast by mail.

Lawmakers ultimately set a new primary election, almost exclusively by mail, for April 28, 2020, contrary to LaRose’s wishes.

This year, LaRose once again found himself in the spotlight due to his dual role as state election chief and GOP representative on the seven-member Ohio Redistricting Commission charged with drawing new legislative maps.

Because the Ohio Supreme Court has repeatedly dismissed proposed redistricting maps as unconstitutional gerrymanders, the state is holding a by-part primary on Tuesday, with the state’s legislative races decided later.

In the weeks following the 2020 presidential election, LaRose said, “The election is going better and more honestly than I think it ever has.” Months later, he said in an interview what has proven true in state after state – that voter fraud is rare.

In February, LaRose changed his tone on Twitter, saying “the mainstream media is trying to downplay voter fraud based on their narrative” and “President Donald Trump is right that voter fraud is a serious problem.” Trump endorsed LaRose in April.

Adams, LaRose’s GOP challenger, is an Army and Navy veteran and former state legislator who served in the Ohio House from 2007 to 2014.

“Why am I running for the post of Secretary of State? Adams said at a campaign event last month. “Well, we had an election two years ago, and I woke up the next morning and said, ‘You’re kidding me. There’s no way Trump lost. Not at all.'”

Adams also criticized LaRose for his role in the postponement of the March 2020 primary.

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