Josh Mandel’s sudden exit from Ohio’s Senate race later this year left a lot of conservatives scrambling. Mandel’s family is facing a health crisis, preventing the State Treasurer and Marine from continuing his campaign. With little time to establish name ID, many wondered if Governor John Kasich would jump into the race, as Allahpundit wrote.
When Mandel left the race, Cleveland businessman Mike Gibbons was left as the only pseudo credible candidate in the race. But, Gibbons lacks recognition among voters and many conservatives question if he is perhaps too aligned with Kasich.
The gaping problem facing Ohio Republicans has been resolved with the candidacy of Jim Renacci. The Congressman from Wadsworth is currently a candidate for Governor is switching gears and running for United States Senate instead. This will solve two problems. Republicans will have a credible candidate to battle Sherrod Brown this fall and it also helps lighten the crowded field for the gubernatorial primary.
The Ohio Republican had meetings at the White House this week to discuss the idea of switching races. Having the backing of President Trump is a shot in the arm to a new Senatorial campaign. Renacci supported Trump during the primary at a time when elected Ohio Republicans were bullied into supporting John Kasich’s struggling campaign.
At a public event this summer, Vice President Mike Pence praised Renacci by saying, “You know, I was for Jim Renacci before it was cool. I really was. I got to know him before he was even elected to the Congress. Now he serves on the powerful Ways and Means Committee. He’s been a great champion of economic growth and jobs here in Ohio.”
An immediate endorsement from the White House will give Renacci the press and standing ground he needs to begin a successful bid to unseat Brown. Trump likely will view Renacci as a reliable vote.
An email announcing his candidacy this morning said:
As many of you know, after spending most of my career in the business world, a few years ago I chose to run for Congress because I was deeply concerned over the direction of our country and its lack of accountable leadership in Washington.
Having grown up on the cusp of poverty in western Pennsylvania, and later dedicated myself to raising a family and growing businesses across Ohio, entering the political arena was never part of the path that I envisioned for my life. However, it was sense of duty to restoring effective, conservative leadership to government that drove me into national politics in the first place—and it’s that sense of duty that has guided my approach towards public service ever since.
And as many of you also know, several months ago, after witnessing years of dysfunction in Washington, I announced my intention to leave the House of Representatives to run for Governor Ohio. Yet, while I believe as firmly today as I did then that my decades of experience in the business world would deliver needed stewardship to our state, true leadership requires a willingness to always put country first and answer a call to action in service to the nation.
Earlier this week I was asked to attend a meeting at the White House, at which I was asked to help protect the future of President Trump’s agenda by entering Ohio’s 2018 race for the United States Senate. 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. And for that reason I’ve agreed to answer the call to service and enter the race for United States Senate. The drive to change the status quo is stronger than ever and I couldn’t be more grateful for the support I have received from Amy Murray, who served as the Lieutenant Governor candidate on our ticket, and who will now serve as the statewide Chair of my campaign for the United States Senate.
Over the coming weeks and months ahead I look forward to offering Ohioans a clear alternative to far left, career politician Sherrod Brown and earning the support of voters in every corner our state. I thank you sincerely for your support and please keep an eye out for news coming directly from our Senate campaign, which we are launching today. It will be a true honor to serve as your next United States Senator.
Renacci is a businessman turned politician. This self-made man has owned dozens of businesses. He sprang into national politics in 2010. He had lost his successful car dealership thanks to government interference in the automotive industry. He previously had been the mayor of Wadsworth, but felt the government’s decision to pick winners and losers in the private sector demanded his attention in Washington.
Jim Renacci has a history of displacing Democrats in federal campaigns in swing districts. During his first run for Congress in 2010, he picked off incumbent John Boccieri. Two years later, he did the same to Cash for Clunkers Queen Betty Sutton when redistricting forced these two sitting Congressmen into the same district.
Lynda Bowers sits on the Ohio Township Association Board of Directors. The Lafayette Township Trustee and well known Republican activist is anticipating Renacci’s announcement. “Jim Renacci has a clear understanding that for us to live in prosperity as a strong and blessed country, common sense steps need to be taken to ensure everyone has an opportunity,” Bowers said. “I’ve always known Jim Renacci to stand above political views and instead, focus on constructive solutions.”
Renacci has good crossover appeal to reach out to the blue-collar Ohio Democrats that broke for Trump. As a businessman, he holds similar points of view as President Trump but communicates in a much different fashion. He also is not sensitive to being critiqued. This is important as Sherrod Brown is the darling of the Ohio media, as his wife is a journalist.
Many eyes will be on Columbus this morning because of this announcement. Renacci has been highly critical of Governor John Kasich, who is rather unpopular with Ohio Republicans after boycotting the 2016 RNC in Cleveland and his constant attacks on President Trump and his fellow Republicans.
Sherrod Brown has been a strong supporter of Obamacare, even as it crumbles. His removal from the Senate will be instrumental in the disastrous healthcare bill’s complete collapse.
I blame Sherrod Brown every month when I pay the high premium for my high deductible health insurance. Many Ohioans like myself, blame our liberal Senator for saddling us with Obamacare. The White House flew him to Washington on a government plane after his mother’s funeral to cast what many of us identify as the deciding vote on the monstrosity of a bill that has caused strife for so many middle-class families.
This will likely be a lively Senatorial campaign, hopefully with Renacci being elevated to Senator.