Jun 9, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Former Rep. Renacci announces GOP primary challenge to Ohio Gov. Dewine

Combination images of Ohio Gov. Mike Dewine and former Rep. Jim Renacci.

Combination images of Ohio Gov. Mike Dewine and former Rep. Jim Renacci. Photo: Kirk Irwin/Getty Images/Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images

Former Republican Rep. Jim Renacci accused Ohio Gov. Mike Dewine (R) of being more in line with President Biden than former President Trump, as Renacci announced Wednesday he's challenging the governor in next year's primary.

What he's saying: Trump ally Renacci made the criticism in a new campaign ad attacking Dewine's handling of the pandemic, saying DeWine "defied Trump and was praised by Biden."

"COVID happened and he made a choice to rule like [New York's Democratic Gov.] Andrew Cuomo instead of leading like President Trump. ... We need to dump Ohio's Cuomo, Mike DeWine, end his Trump-bashing reign and elect an Ohio-first conservative who fights for you."

Driving the news: DeWine became a target for Trump and his supporters after the governor acknowledged Biden's 2020 election win and condemned the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot.

What to watch: Although Renacci describes Trump as a "friend," the former president was dismayed at his 2018 Ohio Republican Senate election loss to Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown and Trump may not endorse him again, NBC News notes.

  • Representatives for Trump and Dewine did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.
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