Ohio Republican rep to run for Senate: report

Ohio Republican rep to run for Senate: report
© Greg Nash

Rep. Jim RenacciJames (Jim) B. RenacciOhio is suddenly a 2020 battleground Democrats fear Ohio slipping further away in 2020 Medicare for All won't deliver what Democrats promise MORE (R-Ohio) will run for Ohio’s Senate seat in 2018 with encouragement from President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats blast Trump for commuting Roger Stone: 'The most corrupt president in history' Trump confirms 2018 US cyberattack on Russian troll farm Trump tweets his support for Goya Foods amid boycott MORE’s political team, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported Wednesday.

The Ohio congressman’s decision comes after former top Republican Senate candidate and Ohio state treasurer Josh Mandel surprisingly ended his bid last week, citing his wife’s health issues.

Renacci, who was running for Ohio governor, will end that campaign and instead turn his attention to the race to unseat Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownSenate Dems request briefing on Russian bounty wire transfers On The Money: Mnuchin, Powell differ over how soon economy will recover | Millions fear eviction without more aid from Congress | IRS chief pledges to work on tax code's role in racial wealth disparities IRS chief pledges to work with Congress on examining tax code's role in racial wealth disparities MORE (D-Ohio).

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Renacci is expected to make an announcement about a Senate bid Thursday morning.

The Enquirer reported that White House officials met with Renacci on Wednesday and see him as an ally given his support for Trump’s agenda.

Trump won Ohio by 8 percentage points in 2016.

Renacci will join wealthy businessman Mike Gibbons, who is currently the only other Republican in the primary. Since Mandel’s exit, Gibbons has rolled out more local endorsements and pledged to spend an additional $5 million for his campaign.

J.D. Vance, the author of “Hillbilly Elegy,” is reportedly seriously considering a Senate bid and is in Washington this week to meet with Republicans about it.