STRONGSVILLE, Ohio — Editor's note: The video in the player above is from a story published on Jan. 26, 2021.
A convention held in Strongsville Saturday morning brought big names from Republican politics to Northeast Ohio to raise awareness and support for conservative candidates vying for the U.S. Senate in 2022.
Featuring several congressional-hopefuls looking to fill the soon-to-be-open seat left by Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), the 2021 Ohio Political Summit welcomed U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), and conservative commentator Candace Owens looking to win over voters in the Buckeye State.
"With the fate of the nation hanging in the balance, all eyes are on the Ohio Senate and Governor's races," the event description reads on its website. "Never before have you had the opportunity to see all candidate in one place on one day!"
The right-wing figures welcomed candidates for the U.S. Senate such as former Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, Bernie Moreno and 'Hillbilly Elegy' author J.D. Vance. Among the list of candidates who declined to speak at the event include names like State Senator Matt Dolan, former Ohio GOP Chair Jane Timken and Ohio Rep. Mike Turner.
According to the website for the event, each candidate has been granted 10 minutes of speaking time to answer questions from the audience of Republican voters.
Candidates for the 2022 Gubernatorial race also showed up Saturday morning, hoping to win over the support of the voters in the crowd. Both former Congressman Jim Renacci and staunch conservative commentator Joe Blystone accepted invitations to speak at the event.
Gov. Mike DeWine, who has been criticized by his fellow GOP members in the past year for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic-- including mask mandates and health orders aimed at protecting Ohio's most vulnerable population-- declined to appear at the summit.
At this time, Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH) is one of the only Democrats to have thrown their hat into the ring for the 2022 Senate seat. Rep. Ryan announced his run for Portman's seat on April 26.
Editor's note: The video in the player above is from a story published on April 26, 2021.