Renacci picks Cincinnati councilwoman as running mate

By Dan Sewell and Julie Carr Smyth - Associated Press

CINCINNATI — Congressman Jim Renacci selected a former Procter & Gamble executive and Cincinnati councilwoman as his running mate Monday in the Ohio gubernatorial race.

Renacci, a Wadsworth Republican, and Councilwoman Amy Murray will run under the slogan: “Back 2 Business, Not Business As Usual.”

Murray, 53, spent 15 years as a leader in Asian business development at P&G, the Cincinnati-based consumer products giant. She has since formed her own consulting firm, Japan Consulting Group.

The Mount Lookout resident was first elected to Cincinnati City Council in 2013.

Murray’s addition to the ticket adds gender and geographic diversity to Renacci’s ticket as he faces two better known establishment rivals in the state’s GOP primary: Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor and Attorney General Mike DeWine, who recently married his campaign to that of gubernatorial rival Jon Husted, the secretary of state.

The bellwether state’s Republican governor, John Kasich, is term-limited and unable to seek re-election.

A vocal detractor of President Donald Trump, Kasich has continued to preach bipartisanship and political pragmatism despite his defeat in last year’s presidential election.

Renacci, one of the wealthiest members of Congress, has modeled his campaign after Trump’s, promoting himself as a political outsider after just seven years in Congress and one who could bring his success in business to the governor’s office.

The 70-year-old DeWine, among Ohio’s best-known politicians, has been in public service nearly all of his adult life, including as lieutenant governor and U.S. senator. The 51-year-old Taylor is a CPA who assumed her first state-level elective office in 2003.

Renacci has labeled his foes “career politicians” and “Columbus fat cats.” Murray is considered more establishment-aligned than Renacci and she has remained largely quiet on the issue of the fractious politics of the Trump administration.

She could use her ties to Cincinnati’s deep-pocketed donor base to boost Renacci’s campaign, which is largely self-funded, so far.

By Dan Sewell and Julie Carr Smyth

Associated Press