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Jim Renacci Names Amy Murray Running Mate For Ohio Governor's Race

Amy Murray and Jim Renacci launch their joint ticket in Cincinnati on Dec. 11, 2017.
Howard Wilkinson
Amy Murray and Jim Renacci launch their joint ticket in Cincinnati on Dec. 11, 2017.

Updated 1 p.m.

Republican Cincinnati council member Amy Murray is teaming up with gubernatorial candidate Jim Renacci as his running mate.

Murray, a 53-year-old Mount Lookout resident, was just re-elected to a four-year term on City Council last month. She can run for lieutenant governor with Renacci and not risk losing her council seat.

Renacci made the announcement Monday morning at a downtown Cincinnati hotel.

Renacci, a northeast Ohio Republican, who has served in Congress since 2011, was obviously going for not only gender balance, but geographic balance in his choice of Murray. Both candidates come from a business background rather than politics. 

Murray says she first met Renacci at a Northeast Hamilton County Republican Club pancake breakfast in Sharonville where all the GOP candidates for governor spoke. She told the crowd of supporters in a small meeting room at the Hilton Netherland Plaza Monday that both she and her husband were impressed by Renacci.

"After the breakfast, we were driving home and my husband Wally said, 'There is one candidate who is different,'" Murray says. "That candidate was Jim Renacci." 

She says she was impressed that he comes from a business background and isn't a career politician. Murray, too, comes from a business background - 15 years as a global business manager for Procter & Gamble and has run a Japanese business consulting firm for nearly 20 years. 

"Jim Renacci and I have a lot in common but we have ways in which we are different too," Murray says. "I'm from the south in Ohio; he is from the north. This is a big state; and all of it deserves to be represented." 

Neither Renacci nor Murray mentioned it, but there is also a difference in that the congressman is a self-proclaimed political outsider and a fervent supporter of President Trump, while Murray has rarely talked about the president in public and is considered part of the Republican establishment in Cincinnati. 

Two other Republicans, Attorney General Mike DeWine and Secretary of State John Husted, teamed up as candidates for governor and lieutenant governor respectively. The third GOP candidate for governor, Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor, has yet to name a running mate.

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Howard Wilkinson joined the WVXU News Team after 30 years of covering local and state politics for The Cincinnati Enquirer. A native of Dayton, Ohio, Wilkinson has covered every Ohio governor’s race since 1974 as well as 12 presidential nominating conventions. His streak continued by covering both the 2012 Republican and Democratic conventions for 91.7 WVXU. Along with politics, Wilkinson also covered the 2001 Cincinnati race riots; the Lucasville Prison riot in 1993; the Air Canada plane crash at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in 1983; and the 1997 Ohio River flooding. The Cincinnati Reds are his passion. "I've been listening to WVXU and public radio for many years, and I couldn't be more pleased at the opportunity to be part of it,” he says.