GOP Senate candidate using strip club owner’s plane to campaign: report

GOP Senate candidate using strip club owner’s plane to campaign: report
© Greg Nash

The Republican congressman running to replace Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownOn The Money: Judge upholds House subpoena for Trump financial records | Trump vows to appeal ruling by 'Obama-appointed judge' | Canada, Mexico lift retaliatory tariffs on US | IRS audit rate falls Lawmakers grapple with the future of America's workforce The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Pass USMCA Coalition - Restrictive state abortion laws ignite fiery 2020 debate MORE (D) has reportedly been traveling to various campaign around Ohio in a private plane owned by a strip club owner.

Rep. Jim RenacciJames (Jim) B. RenacciGOP rep: If Mueller had found collusion, 'investigation would have wrapped up very quickly' House Ethics Committee extends probe into Renacci Sherrod Brown says he has 'no real timetable' for deciding on 2020 presidential run MORE (R-Ohio) wrote in Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings that his campaign has spent as much as $2,500 on private travel expenses since January with Don Ksiezyk, a private pilot and owner of the Peek-A-Boos and the Bug-A-Boos strip clubs in Cleveland, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

ADVERTISEMENT

Representatives for Renacci's campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill, and refused to answer questions from the Dispatch on whether Renacci and Ksiezyk had ever engaged in previous business relationships.

A review of flight records by the newspaper shows that Renacci used the plane to attend at least three campaign events across Ohio, including day trips to various areas of the state that allowed the congressman to return home afterward.

A spokeswoman for Renacci's campaign attacked the Dispatch, accusing the newspaper of "shaming" Ksiezyk for his businesses and supposedly ignoring decades-old claims of domestic violence that Brown has battled.

"The Dispatch has sadly hit a new low by publicly shaming a private citizen and Renacci campaign volunteer while giving a pass to Senator Sherrod Brown on his record of domestic violence," spokeswoman Leslie Shedd said in a statement.

A candidate's use of a private plane  has been criticized by their opponent in at least one other Senate race during the 2018 election cycle. In Missouri, Republican Josh Hawley accused Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillLobbying world Big Dem names show little interest in Senate Gillibrand, Grassley reintroduce campus sexual assault bill MORE (D-Mo.) of having "lost touch with reality" after the Washington Free Beacon reported her own use of a private plane for campaign stops.

Renacci currently trails Brown by double-digits in the state's U.S. Senate race, according to a poll released this week.