Jim Renacci drops out of the Ohio governor’s race to run for Senate

January 11, 2018

Jim Renacci drops out of the Ohio governor’s race to run for Senate

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci said Thursday he will leave the Ohio governor’s race to run for U.S. Senate in an attempt to unseat incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown.

In an email to supporters, Renacci confirmed Wednesday that he had met with White House officials, who asked him to run.

“While my strong distaste for Washington and the political establishment is as fervent as ever, so too is my commitment to advancing the President’s agenda for a stronger and more prosperous America,” Renacci, who has aligned himself with President Donald Trump, said in the email. “And for that reason I’ve agreed to answer the call to service and enter the race for United States Senate.”

Republicans had been searching for a big-name candidate after Treasurer Josh Mandel shocked the Ohio political world Friday by dropping out.

Renacci’s name popped up as a possibility, especially after two other Republicans - Attorney General Mike DeWine and Secretary of State Jon Husted - consolidated their campaigns for governor, making Renacci’s gubernatorial bid increasingly difficult.

Renacci, who is from Wadsworth, will face Cleveland-area businessman Mike Gibbons in the primary. Gibbons, a newcomer to running for elected office, has been barnstorming the state and has received some support, including an endorsement from the Franklin County GOP.

“Hillbilly Elegy” author J.D. Vance also was in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday attending meetings about a potential run for the Senate. An aide to Vance did not immediately respond to request for comment on Thursday.

Ohio Democratic Party spokesman Jake Strassberger described Renacci as a Washington insider who has worked to “make life easier on the wealthy and well-connected.

“He brings nothing to the table but a record of giving away tax breaks to multi-millionaires like himself, while making Ohio families pay more for their health care and empowering corporations to send good Ohio jobs overseas,” Strassberger said.

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