Democrats ask LaRose to provide more information about moving his office to campaign headquarters
Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose. (Photo by Graham Stokes for Ohio Capital Journal. Republish photo only with original story.)
Thirteen Ohio Democratic lawmakers are asking Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose to provide more information about moving his office to the same location as his U.S. Senate campaign headquarters.
Earlier this month, it was reported that LaRose is looking to move the secretary of state’s office from a building at 180 E. Broad Street, where it had been located for nearly 20 years, to a building at 200 Civic Center Drive — the same address he listed as his campaign address when he filed his candidacy for Senate with the Federal Election Commission.
“Out of concern for our constituents, we are requesting additional information about the process you followed to identify a new location for the Secretary of State’s office,” the lawmakers wrote in their Wednesday letter to LaRose. “Despite your claims that your decision to move your official office to the same location as your Senate campaign is “completely incidental,” several key questions remain unanswered.”
LaRose’s office did not respond to the OCJ’s request for comment.
While the new lease is reportedly $11,000 a year less than the current one, the move is expected to cost $600,000 and won’t pay for itself until 2077.
The letter lists three questions for LaRose to “provide clear, public answers to.”
- Will you provide the full details for the process for deciding to move the office, including how many properties – including their respective costs per square foot compared to the office space located at 200 Civic Center Drive – were considered?
- When did you make the decision to move your official office to 200 Civic Center Drive in relation to when you began thinking about running for Senate?
- Will you release all documentation from your office pertaining to your request to bypass the standard process to move the Secretary of State’s office to the same building as your Senate campaign?
“As elected officials, we owe Ohioans complete transparency into how their tax dollars are spent, especially when related to political campaigns,” the letter said.
LaRose, who announced his run for U.S. Senate on July 17, is running against state Sen. Matt Dolan, R-Chagrin Falls, and entrepreneur Bernie Moreno for the Republican nomination. Whoever gets the nomination will go up against U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-OH, in the 2024 election, who is seeking his fourth term.
The letter was signed by Senate Minority Leader Nickie J. Antonio, House Minority Leader Allison Russo, House Assistant Minority Leader Dontavius Jarrells, Senate Minority Whip Kent Smith, Senate Assistant Minority Whip Paula Hicks-Hudson, Sen. William DeMora, House Minority Whip Jessica Miranda, House Assistant Minority Whip Tavia Galonski, Rep. Munira Abdullahi, Rep. Anita Somani, Rep. Bride Rose Sweeney, Rep. Elliot Forhan, and Rep. Rachel Baker.
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