Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Does Jim Renacci want to run for Ohio governor?

Jim Renacci wants another term in the U.S. House this fall, but someone already is assessing whether he would be a strong candidate for Ohio governor in 2018.

A pollster – armed with favorable facts about the Wadsworth Republican – recently dialed Buckeye State voters, according to two GOP sources who were surveyed by telephone.

The poll's questions were phrased in ways that emphasized Renacci's background as a businessman and volunteer firefighter while downplaying his six years in Congress, the sources said. Though the poll did not specify which higher office Renacci might be interested in, he was tested alongside Attorney General Mike DeWine, Secretary of State Jon Husted and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor – three leading Republicans who are openly weighing gubernatorial bids.

The call characterized DeWine, Husted and Taylor as "Columbus insiders," the sources said.
Of this foursome, Renacci is the least known and the longest shot. The other three already are better organized for a 2018 run and would start with statewide name-recognition that Renacci lacks. And DeWine recently tapped Dave Luketic, a veteran of Gov. John Kasich's political operation, to lead his preparations. Term limits prevent Kasich from seeking re-election.

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