Ohio GOP Senate candidate parts ways with top aide who tweeted criticism of Trump

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R), who’s running in the state’s closely watched Senate race, has parted ways with his press secretary after the aide tweeted criticism of former President Trump. 

LaRose’s interim press secretary Mary Cianciolo confirmed to The Hill that Rob Nichols “is no longer employed at the Office of the Ohio Secretary of State.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer and NBC News had reported Nichols’s firing.

Screen grabs of tweets from an account called “rnich99” gained traction after an Ohio progressive activist tweeted them, asking if Nichols was behind the account. NBC News reported that individuals close to Nichols said he was. 

The Hill has also reached out to Nichols for comment. 

Trump ally Arthur Schwartz and Andy Surabian, an adviser to Ohio GOP Senate candidate Bernie Moreno, later pounced on the tweets after a liberal blogger out of Columbus detailed the posts in a story. 

“A current Senior Comms staffer for Ohio Senate candidate Frank LaRose just deleted his entire account on here, after he was exposed for repeatedly attacking Trump over the past several months. Frank the Fraud and his entire RINO team have always been anti-Trump,” Surabian tweeted Monday. 

Surabian included screenshots of tweets criticizing the former president in response to Trump-aligned Republican consultant Alex Bruesewitz. 

“It’s been an incredible indictments race to the bottom between your guys and Hunter Biden…the Daytona 500 of felonies and misdemeanors,” one tweet read. 

Another one of the tweets asked “how many times has DeSantis been impeached? how many rape settlements has he agreed to? Has he spent $40 million in campaign donor money to pay a bunch of lawyers for his transgressions?”

Trump could stand to play a kingmaking role in the 2024 Ohio Senate race. Last year, Sen, JD Vance (R-Ohio) won the primary for former Sen. Rob Portman’s (R) seat after Trump endorsed his campaign. Trump has yet to make an endorsement in state’s 2024 GOP primary, but publicly encouraged Moreno to get in the race. 

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