COLUMBUS, Ohio — After months of speculation, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose has announced his bid for a U.S. Senate seat. 

LaRose has called himself the most conservative candidate and said he will run a fair campaign. 

"What I'm seeing happening is weakening defense," LaRose said. "Weakening our families and weakening the economy."

LaRose officially has been considering the U.S. Senate race ever since last year. 

What You Need To Know

  • Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced his bid to run for U.S. Senate 

  • This election could determine which party has control of the U.S. Senate during the next term

  • Political Science professors say Ohio's Senate race will have the entire country's attention 

"I'm the only candidate in this race who's actually won statewide elections, traveled to all 88 counties" LaRose said. "Ohioans know me and trust me and I'm confident that at the end of this job interview, Ohio Republicans are going to select me to be their party's nominee." 

LaRose leaps into the Senate race challenging Republicans Bernie Moreno and Senator Matt Dolan in next year’s primary. If LaRose wins the primary, he will take aim at Democratic incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown who is seeking a fourth term in office. 

"When you have an incumbent running for reelection, most of the time you don't have a competitive race." said Justin Buchler, Political Science Professor at Case Western Reserve University.

Buchler said the incumbent traditionally has the upper hand, but other political scientists following Ohio’s Senate race say this year might be different. They say Ohio will keep the political debate heated as the race may dictate who controls the United States Senate in 2025. 

"I do think this United States Senate race is going to be very closely observed," David Cohen, a Political Science Professor at the University of Akron, said. "Ohio could well determine which party controls the United States Senate in 2025." 

Cohen said if a Republican wins Ohio's Senate seat, it could shift control in the senate to the GOP. Meanwhile, many people expect the Republican primary to be fierce. Cohen thinks former president Donald Trump will back Moreno, but he believes LaRose will garner a lot of support.  

"A sitting Secretary of State is somebody who, generally speaking, is going to have a better chance than somebody who's never held elected office before," Buchler said.  

Endorsements may not be the only big factor in the Senate race. Campaign finances could play a major role in the process as well.

LaRose said he plans to raise money, "the old-fashioned way, from everyday Ohioans" who want to see someone like themselves in office.

"Somebody who shares their values, that doesn't live off of a trust fund," LaRose said. "That's who they want to see representing them in the United States Senate. And that's exactly who I am."