Bernie Moreno, a wealthy businessman who was backed by former President Donald Trump, won the Ohio Republican primary election Tuesday.

The Ohio primary split Republican voters ahead of what’s expected to be one of the most competitive Senate races in November.

The GOP Senate primary saw Moreno facing off against state Sen. Matt Dolan and Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose. It’s been a tight race, with Trump testing how effective his endorsement is, according to USA Today.

Moreno will face Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown in the general election.

Key Republicans weigh in

Moreno lead the race by nine percentage points in the final Emerson College poll of likely GOP voters ahead of the primary. Trump endorsed Moreno three months ago and attended a rally with him on Saturday, where Trump gave a 90-minute speech at Dayton International Airport, according to NBC News.

“Bernie is running against a weak RINO named Matt Dolan. He is trying to become the next Mitt Romney,” Trump said, referring to the Utah senator, according to NBC News.

Trump won Ohio by eight percentage points in 2016 and 2020, according to the National Review.

Utah Sen. Mike Lee weighed in via X, the site formerly known as Twitter, to encourage Ohio voters to pick Moreno.

“Bernie Moreno will stand with J.D. Vance and other Senate conservatives,” Lee’s post in part read. “Please elect him!”

Ohio’s Republican Sen. J.D. Vance and Arizona Senate candidate Kari Lake had both endorsed Moreno as well. Vance warned that moderate Republicans would cause “the end of the Republican Party and the end of this republic” at the same rally.

Dolan, meanwhile, had the support of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and former Sen. Rob Portman, ABC News reported.

In general, Dolan had the support of Ohio’s “old GOP guard” in a race being described as between MAGA and the establishment, according to Politico.

Per USA Today, Trump has had a mixed record of endorsing candidates in competitive races across the country, and Dolan was “testing the strength” of a Trump endorsement.

Looking ahead

A bitter Republican primary like what’s played out in Ohio might benefit the incumbent Brown, according to the National Review.

Brown won his last Senate race in 2018 by seven points against a Republican with little national backing, CNN reported. Brown plans to contrast his stances on abortion rights, organized labor and minimum wage with the eventual Republican candidate.

Since 2006, Brown is the only Ohio Democrat to win a statewide race, per CBS News.

DeWine said he thought Dolan was better suited to beat Brown in November, according to The Hill.

“I’ve had the opportunity to work with him in the state legislature. He knows how a legislative body works,” he said. “And you know, I think it’s important, we have to remember, we may be sending this person out of the Republican primary, who may serve six years or may serve 30 years in the United States Senate. I just think Matt Dolan is the right person.”

Brown is one of two Democrats running for reelection to the Senate from states that voted for Trump in 2020, so the race will be central in the battle over control of the Senate.