GOP interested in Jim Tressel for Senate

Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel had been regarded as the front-runner in the GOP race. Credit ANDY CHOW  OHIO PUBLIC RADIO

Cleveland.com also reported that White House officials urged Renacci to drop his gubernatorial bid and run for Senate.

Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci has quit the gubernatorial race to run for the Senate.

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. His switch to the Senate race comes after state Treasurer Josh Mandel abruptly ended his Senate campaign last Friday, citing a family health issue.

If J.D. Vance throws his hat in the ring, he would face off in a primary against GOP Rep. Jim Renacci, who announced his candidacy on Thursday, and wealthy businessman Mike Gibbons.

Fortunately, Republicans already have the ideal candidate in the race to defeat Sherrod Brown.

Democratic incumbent Sherrod Brown announced Wednesday his campaign raised $2.6 million in the fourth quarter ending December 31, leaving him with $9.8 million in the bank.

Renacci on Monday told Cleveland radio station WTAM that he "would consider" running for Senate if he had Trump's support.

Conservative leaders immediately started encouraging Renacci to get into the Senate race, but the four-term congressman said he'd consider it only if Trump asked him.

Renacci, who like Trump is portraying himself as a political outsider, has closely aligned himself with the president and his policies while attacking DeWine and Taylor as establishment career politicians. "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.

Renacci, who has represented OH in Congress since 2011, would have the president's support in a state Trump won in 2016 by 8 percentage points. "The last thing the voters in OH want is another opportunistic career politician who's only looking to jump from one office to the next - and Jim Renacci can't even decide what office he wants to jump to". Gibbons contributed $100,000 to Trump-related groups and he served finance co-chair for Trump's OH campaign, said Chris Schrimpf. In the wake of Mandel's exit, he committed to investing $5 million of his own money into his race. "The fact remains that Mike Gibbons is far better positioned to defeat Sherrod Brown than any member of Congress".

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