That was the single word one veteran Ohio Republican strategist unaligned with any candidate used to sum up the unwieldy and acrimonious open Senate primary. "This race has very few redeeming qualities," they added. "You're supposed to be enthusiastic and proud of the people you vote for. Instead, it's been a goat rodeo."

After all, in a recent debate, the two leading candidates almost came to blows on stage. Nearly every hopeful is trying to out-Trump each other, even as the former president has so far withheld his endorsement. And with just under five weeks to go until the expected May 3 primary, more than $43 million has been spent on advertising only in the Republican primary with candidates, their superPACs and outside groups forming a circular firing squad of negative ads. One ad from the sole female candidate in the race says her male opponents "overcompensate for their inadequacies."

There are five leading candidates: former State Treasurer and 2012 Senate nominee Josh Mandel, wealthy investment banker Mike Gibbons, former Ohio GOP Chairwoman Jane Timken, venture

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