Trump, Renacci navigate indefinite relationship, race


Harsimran Makkad

SUPPORT. President Donald Trump talks to his supporters at the Sheffer Corporation on Feb. 5. During his speech, Trump expressed his support for Ohio Republican Representative Jim Renacci, who is currently running for Democratic incumbent Senator Sherrod Brown. However, Trump did not officially endorse Renacci.

  On Jan. 11, Republican Rep. Jim Renacci announced that he would be dropping out of the race for Ohio governor and running for incumbent Democrat Sen. Sherrod Brown’s seat in the U.S. Senate.

  Renacci has represented Ohio’s 16th Congressional district since 2011 and was in the gubernatorial race from May 2017 until last month’s announcement.

  He has cited encouragement from the White House as his motive for this change in bid; Renacci met with President Donald Trump’s political team on Jan. 10, a meeting which the Trump administration reportedly asked him to attend.

 There, he was “asked to help protect the future of President Trump’s agenda by entering Ohio’s 2018 race for the United States Senate,” according to the official letter in which he announced his change in plans.

  “I now realize…  I really need to put country first and answer the call to action to serve our nation and come back to try and fight for the Trump agenda and try to get things done in the Senate.

  “When the president and the administration calls you to action, it was a pretty compelling moment for me,” Renacci said in his Jan. 11 feature on AM 1420 The Answer in Cleveland.

  During Trump’s visit to the Sheffer Corporation in Blue Ash on Mon,. Feb. 5, the president supported Renacci, but his official endorsement has not been declared.

  Renacci, however, endorsed Trump early in the 2016 presidential race. The candidate does have the explicit endorsement of Ohio Republican incumbent Sen. Rob Portman, whose term does not end until 2020.   

  According to Ballotpedia, Renacci is “an average Republican member of Congress, meaning he will vote with the Republican Party on the majority of bills.” He was an entrepreneur before becoming a politician in 1994.

  As a congressman, Renacci voted Yea on bills including the American Health Care Act of 2017, (aka Trumpcare), the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which criminalized some abortions, and several 2017 bills on tax cuts and congressional budget.

  He voted Yea on a disaster relief act proposed after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, but voted Nay on an amended version of the bill.

  Renacci’s announcement broke just days after Ohio state treasurer Josh Mandel’s unanticipated decision to drop out of the race in order to focus on his wife’s health, which vacated the presumed position of frontrunner for the GOP nomination.

 Still in the GOP race is wealthy Cleveland banker and businessman Mike Gibbons, who has promised to pour another $5 million into his Senate campaign. The primary election is on May 8, and the candidate filing deadline is Feb. 7.