U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci of the Akron area told supporters Thursday through an email that he intends to drop out of the race for governor of OH and instead run for the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate.
Renacci entered the race for governor in March of a year ago and while competitive in early fundraising numbers with Mike DeWine and Jon Husted, it was money he had primarily lent to his campaign.
On Thursday, Congressman Jim Renacci switched gears from being a candidate for governor and announced that he wants the Senate job.
OH state treasurer Josh Mandel, who was Republicans' top candidate to oppose Brown, unexpectedly dropped out of the race last week, citing his wife's health. Renacci, listed as the 41 richest member of Congress, will take on wealthy Cleveland businessman Mike Gibbons in the primary.
Renacci made the announcement on Thursday morning, saying he felt it was important to be in a position that allowed him to advance "the President's agenda for a stronger and more prosperous America".
An unnamed source close to the White House told the Cincinnati Enquirer, according to the report, that the White House staffers cited Renacci's support for President Donald Trump in their conversations.
An avid supporter of President Trump, Renacci said a White House meeting on Wednesday was the turning point in his decision.
Mike Biundo, a consultant for Gibbons, said Gibbons was committed to the race and had done more to support Trump than any other potential candidate.
"Hillbilly Elegy" author J.D. Vance, is another possibility to enter the Senate race.
The withdrawal of state treasurer Josh Mandel from the Senate race over what he says is his wife's health issues has left the GOP looking for a viable replacement candidate. Gardner chairs the Republican Senate campaign committee.
Whoever emerges from the May 8 Republican primary would have their hands full trying to unseat Brown, who has been in the Senate since 2007. "He brings nothing to the table but a record of giving away tax breaks to multi-millionaires like himself, while making OH families pay more for their healthcare and empowering corporations to send good OH jobs overseas", Strassberger said.
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