- Associated Press - Monday, March 20, 2017

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The Latest on U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci’s bid for Ohio governor (all times local):

5:30 p.m.

Ohio’s Democratic chairman is criticizing Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci (reh-NAY’-see) as the congressman launches a bid for governor, saying Renacci has voted in lock-step with his party and would bring “nasty, D.C.-style obstruction to Ohio.”

The 58-year-old Renacci, of Wadsworth in northeast Ohio, joins a potential trio of GOP state officeholders seeking the governorship. His bid, announced Monday, aims to succeed GOP Gov. John Kasich (KAY’-sik), who leaves office after this year due to term limits.

Democratic Chairman David Pepper said Renacci’s votes favoring House Republicans’ health care reforms and President Donald Trump’s budget would hurt Ohio’s budget and the state’s efforts to fight the heroin crisis.

Renacci says he would fight corruption in Columbus if elected and provide a contrast to “career politicians” seeking the Ohio governor’s office.

___

10:40 a.m.

Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci (reh-NAY’-see) has entered the 2018 Ohio governor’s race against a potential trio of GOP state officeholders.

The 58-year-old Renacci, of Wadsworth in northeast Ohio, sought to position himself Monday as a political outsider alongside three Republicans who have spent their careers in public office: the state attorney general, the secretary of state and the lieutenant governor.

Renacci has served in Congress since 2011. Before that, he was a long-time entrepreneur. His business ventures include LTC Companies group, a financial consulting service with stakes in over 60 businesses, and partnership in the Arena Football League’s Columbus Destroyers.

Renacci joins three Democrats in the governor’s race so far.

All are vying to replace Republican Gov. John Kasich (KAY’-sik), who must vacate the office due to term limits.

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