Jim Tressel ends Senate run talk


Renacci said "lots" of would-be donors and Republican officials had urged him to switch races.

Four Republican sources confirmed Wednesday the congressman had a meeting with senior White House staff, though not with Trump.

Renacci, a Republican from Wadsworth running for governor, has been one of the most discussed names for the Senate race after Republican Treasurer Josh Mandel announced he was dropping out last Friday, shocking OH political observers.

"I really believe I need to put country first and answer the call to action to serve our nation and come back and try and fight for the Trump agenda and try and get things done in the Senate", Renacci said.

Renacci said Cincinnati Councilwoman Amy Murray, his pick for lieutenant governor, will now serve as state chairwoman for his Senate campaign. In the wake of Mandel's exit, he committed to investing $5 million of his own money into his race.

Should Renacci enter the Senate race, he would face a primary with Cleveland-area businessman Mike Gibbons.

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While Renacci says he is waiting for a nod from Trump, a spokesman for rival GOP candidate Mike Gibbons said that could be slow in coming. "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". "The fact remains that Mike Gibbons is far better positioned to defeat Sherrod Brown than any member of Congress". In the past two days he has circulated the names of OH county GOP chairs and local Renacci leaders who are now backing him in the Senate contest.

But some Republicans in the state expressed skepticism of Vance's ability to introduce himself to voters in the state after being away for a while.

Vance has also been critical of Trump, which could be problematic in a GOP primary. It called Tressel the new consensus candidate to challenge incumbent Democrat Sherrod Brown. Mr. Gibbons' campaign has criticized the possibility of Mr. Renacci changing from the governor's race to the Senate race, saying it would expose him as career politician just interested in whatever seat is easiest to win.

Senate Majority PAC, the Democratic super PAC, released a statement Thursday previewing some of the attacks Renacci is likely to encounter.

Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race Leans Democratic.