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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci entered the 2018 Ohio governor’s race on Monday against a potential trio of GOP state officeholders.
The 58-year-old Renacci, of Wadsworth in northeast Ohio, sought to position himself as a political outsider alongside three Republicans whom he says have spent their careers in public office: state Attorney General Mike DeWine, Secretary of State Jon Husted and the Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor.
“Unlike other candidates, I’ve spent the vast majority of my career in the business world, not politics,” Renacci said in announcing his run. “I’m proud to have created over 1,500 jobs in our state and employed over 3,000 hard-working Ohioans. I believe deeply in the value of results, not rhetoric, and I am committed to putting that brand of principled, conservative, business-based thinking to work on behalf of the people of our state.”
Renacci has served in Congress since 2011. Before that, he was a long-time entrepreneur. His business ventures include LTC Companies group, a financial consulting service with stakes in over 60 businesses, and partnership in the Arena Football League’s Columbus Destroyers.
Renacci joins three Democrats in the governor’s race so far. Among them is former U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton, a Democrat who lost re-election to Renacci when their districts were drawn together in a Republican-run re-mapping process. The other two Democratic contenders are Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni and former state Rep. and state treasurer candidate Connie Pillich.
All are vying to replace Republican Gov. John Kasich, who must vacate the office due to term limits.