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Renacci To Challenge DeWine For Ohio Governor In Republican Primary

Former Ohio Congressman Jim Renacci
Mark Duncan
Associated Press
Former Ohio Congressman Jim Renacci is set to challenge Gov. Mike DeWine in next year's Republican primary.

A high-profile Republican has announced his bid for governor, joining a primary against current Gov. Mike DeWine. Former U.S. Representative Jim Renacci, a vocal supporter of former President Donald Trump, said he wants to take Ohio in a different direction.

In a campaign video announcing his gubernatorial run, Jim Renacci targets DeWine and his response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"DeWine was one of the first governors to shut everything down on you taking away your businesses and your lives. Now I'm asking to let me fight for you and your family as governor," Renacci said.

The former Congressman said as governor he would rebuild the economy, keep what he calls "wokeness" out of the classroom and always fund the police.

Renacci, who's done business in real estate, auto dealerships, and nursing homes, served in Congress from 2011 to 2019.

Renacci briefly ran against DeWine for governor in 2017 before dropping out to run for the U.S. Senate in 2018 which he lost to Democrat Sherrod Brown.

Renacci is vying to court Trump supporters in Ohio using the slogan "When Ohio Is First, America Is First." He joins a primary against DeWine and Joe Blystone, a businessman and farmer from Eastern Ohio.

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.