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Ohio businessman claims US Senate campaign ad defamed him

October 12, 2018

CANTON, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio businessman is suing Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown claiming a campaign ad calling him a “crooked businessman” with ties to Brown’s Republican opponent has defamed him.

North Canton businessman Benjamin Suarez filed the lawsuit Thursday in Stark County.

Brown’s campaign ad targets his Republican opponent, U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci (reh-NAY’-see). It claims Renacci tried to intervene in a California consumer complaint filed against Suarez in exchange for donations to Renacci’s 2012 congressional campaign.

Suarez’s lawsuit says statements in the ad are false and defamatory.

Suarez was acquitted in 2014 on federal charges of making illegal contributions to Renacci and then-U.S. Senate candidate and current state Treasurer Josh Mandel (man-DEHL’). Suarez was sentenced to 15 months for witness tampering.

Messages seeking comment were left Friday with Brown’s campaign.

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