Saturday, July 8, 2017
By David Skolnick
U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci said what separates him from the three other Republicans seeking the party’s 2018 nomination for governor is they’re career politicians, and for him the job would be all about public service.
“A career politician is a person who lives off their paycheck as a politician,” Renacci, of Wadsworth, R-16th, told The Vindicator during a Friday interview. “I’ve never had to. I’m a career businessman.”
Renacci, 58, started his business career from 1981 to 1983 as a certified public accountant for the former Alexander Grant CPA firm in downtown Youngstown, and has owned a number of businesses in Wadsworth. He is one of the richest members of Congress.
“I’m at a stage in my life where this is about service,” he said. “I’m about giving back. I’ve never had to make my living from politics.”
Renacci, who’s served in the U.S. House since January 2011, said he is frustrated with how government operates.
“Clearly, Washington is broken; I see that now,” he said. “I’ve experienced it. It’s a place where career politicians make decisions that are in the best interest of re-election – on both sides of the aisle, by the way – and it’s a frustrating place for a businessman.”
Renacci is considered a close ally of President Donald Trump and has several of the president’s former Ohio campaign staff members working on his gubernatorial campaign. He calls Vice President Mike Pence a close personal friend.
Trump and I “share the same principles that the biggest problem we have today is too many career politicians making decisions based on the next election rather than the next generation,” Renacci said.
While saying it’s too early to judge Trump’s success as president, Renacci said the president has done a good job and “I support him and the many changes he’s trying to make since he was sworn in as president.”
Renacci added: “You can’t expect all the things he said he was going to do to be done in six months. We have to give a president an opportunity to do what he said he was going to do. Some of that takes more than six months.”
Also Friday, Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor officially announced she was running for the Republican nomination for governor next year.
“I am the one candidate in this race who will challenge the system,” Taylor said. “I have stood by my conservative principles even when it wasn’t popular. As governor, I will shake things up.”
Taylor announced in February she had taken “an important step toward running for governor” by formally filing paperwork for the position and designating a treasurer.
The two other Republican gubernatorial candidates are Attorney General Mike DeWine and Secretary of State Jon Husted.
Renacci described his three Republican opponents as “the same retread candidates.”