“Don’t expect” Rep. Jim Renacci (R) “to attempt to self-fund his campaign … although he has lent his campaign money in the past.”
“Still, he positioned himself Monday against political donations from firms seeking state government contracts. … [I]t’s also a signal that he plans to use a ‘pay-to-play’ attack on” state Attorney General Mike DeWine (R). “From 2010 to early 2014, for instance, DeWine’s campaign and that of his son received $1.3 million from firms hoping to represent the state in court. DeWine said the donations haven’t influenced decisions on which attorneys get state work. As governor, Renacci would seek to ban anyone who has made a political donation from getting a state contract, he said.
“Renacci himself could be vulnerable to questions about doing favors for donors as a congressman. His name surfaced in a 2014 federal trial, when the feds said one of his donors, ‘As Seen on TV’ marketer Ben Suarez, conspired in 2011 to circumvent federal campaign finance limits to shuttle money to the campaigns of Renacci and then-Senate candidate Josh Mandel. Renacci had written a letter on the donor’s behalf, but returned the campaign donations after the investigation started. He never was charged. Suarez was acquitted of the campaign finance charges and was convicted only of witness tampering.” (Cincinnati Enquirer)
HISTORY LESSON. State Republican Party Chair Jane Timken “seems unwilling to play favorites like the GOP bosses of yore did. She would be reluctant to fix a primary.”
1990 was the “last time Ohio Republicans had at least four strong candidates for governor. … [P]arty leaders worked through the logjam and entered an era of dominance. … State Sen. Paul Pfeifer, who had finished last in the GOP primary four years before, decided to instead run for attorney general.” Then-Rep. DeWine “bailed on his bid and agreed to be Cleveland Mayor George Voinovich’s running mate for lieutenant governor. … State Sen. Paul Pfeifer, who had finished last in the GOP primary four years before, decided to instead run for attorney general. U.S. Rep. Mike DeWine bailed on his bid and agreed to be Cleveland Mayor George Voinovich’s running mate for lieutenant governor.” Hamilton County Commissioner Bob Taft’s “run for secretary of state” pried “him out of the race.”
“For Republicans to extend their current era of dominance in Columbus, 2018 will have to look more like 1990. But it’s highly possible they will get something more like 2006. That cycle began with three Republican state officeholders — Ken Blackwell, Betty Montgomery and Jim Petro — wanting to succeed the term-limited Taft. Blackwell beat Petro in a primary that moved the party further to the right in a midterm election that became a referendum on President George W. Bush nationally and, in the wake of a scandal involving Taft, on Republicans at the state level. Montgomery ran for attorney general instead. It was a bust. Democrats won all but one office on the statewide ballot. They even knocked DeWine out of his Senate seat. The lone GOP victor,” now-Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor (R), “slipped in as state auditor.” (cleveland.com)