COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Mike DeWine will not go unchallenged from within his party in his bid for a second term as Ohio’s governor.
Jim Renacci, a former U.S. Congressman from Wadsworth, announced Wednesday on a Cleveland radio station that he will seek the Republican nomination in 2022. Renacci has used social media for months position himself as a pro-Donald Trump Republican and distance himself from the policies of DeWine, especially in regards to the pandemic.
DeWine has announced his intentions to seek a second term, but he has also been criticized from within his own party. This year, the Republican-controlled General Assembly overrode a DeWine veto to enact a law that would allow them to rescind pandemic health orders. DeWine instead ended the health orders before the law could take effect.
And late in 2020, after DeWine acknowledge that Trump had lost in his reelection bid to Joe Biden, Trump indicated that DeWine could face a primary challenger in 2022.
Renacci has emerged as that challenger, and he has been a regular critic of DeWine.
“Establishment Republicans like Mike DeWine care more about the optics of bipartisanship than standing up for our Second Amendment rights or against illegal immigration into our state,” Renacci posted on Twitter on June 3. “We need a Governor with a backbone.”
On the Democratic side, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley has declared for governor.