Cleveland.com’s Andrew Tobias takes a look at the Ohio Republicans who might be interested in challenging Gov. Mike DeWine—who infuriated Donald Trump by recognizing Joe Biden’s victory—in the 2022 primary. He reports the far-right Rep. Jim Jordan is thinking about it.
Jordan, who co-founded the nihilist House Freedom Caucus and has been one of Trump’s most ardent allies, has publicly shown no interest in leaving behind his Washington, D.C. power base. Unnamed Buckeye State Republicans, though, tell Tobias that the congressman has been talking about a campaign against DeWine. Indeed, hours after Trump fired off a shot at the governor on Monday, Jordan wrote his own message attacking the restrictions DeWine recently put in place to slow the pandemic.
However, one consultant said that it was still unlikely that Jordan would leave behind Congress to run for governor as long as redistricting doesn’t place him in danger. “It’s on his mind, I’ll put it that way,” the consultant said before adding, “I would say it’s unlikely in the end knowing him, but I’m not going to shut the door on it.”
The only Republican who so far has talked about a campaign against DeWine is former Rep. Jim Renacci, who lost the 2018 Senate race to Democratic incumbent Sherrod Brown by a 53-47 margin. Renacci didn’t rule anything out earlier this month, and Tobias writes that he’s “likely to run.” However, he adds that the former congressman also has a terrible relationship with state party leaders and predicted he would “struggle to assemble a statewide staff, having burned through several campaign managers during his U.S. Senate.”
Tobias mentions a few other Republicans as possibilities, though there’s no word on their interest. The list includes former state Treasurer Josh Mandel, who was Team Red’s 2012 nominee against Brown. Mandel spent more than a year waging a second campaign against Brown but suddenly dropped out in early 2018, citing his wife’s health. Tobias also mentions former Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, who lost the 2018 primary to DeWine 60-40, and Rep. Warren Davidson, who has also made a hobby out of trashing DeWine on Twitter.