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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.

Go deeper

GOP Rep. Gonzalez retires in face of Trump-backed primary

Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R) Photographer: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R) announced his retirement on Thursday, declining to run against a Trump-backed primary challenger in 2022.

Why it matters: Gonzalez has suffered politically since siding with House Democrats to impeach the 45th president after the Capitol riot.

Swing voters' split feelings about Afghanistan

An Afghanistan flag waves in front of the U.S. Capitol on Aug. 28. Photo: Liz Lynch/Getty Images

Some swing voters say they're deeply disappointed with the execution of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Yes, but: They don't believe former President Trump would have handled it better than President Biden, and the issue is far less important to them than getting the pandemic under control.

Chris Cuomo accuser: On-air "hypocrisy" spurred report

Journalist Chris Cuomo. Photo: Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images

A woman who accused fired CNN journalist Chris Cuomo of sexual misconduct said Sunday she decided to come forward after learning of his comments about women who made similar accusations about his brother. He denies her allegations.

Why it matters: Her attorney Debra Katz said in a statement that she heard "the hypocrisy" of his on-air words about his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and was "disgusted by his efforts to try to discredit these women," so "retained counsel to report his serious sexual misconduct against her to CNN."