COLUMBUS — Having just lost the top of her own ticket, former Ohio lieutenant governor candidate Amy Murray on Tuesday threw her support to Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine for governor.
The Cincinnati city councilman was recently picked by northeast Ohio’s U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci as his running mate. But that was before Mr. Renacci shifted gears to run for the U.S. Senate after the apparent front-runner, Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, dropped out.
“I have gotten to know both Mike and Jon over the last few years, and they are by far the best equipped in the race to lead Ohio into the future, bringing more high-paying jobs, solving the opioid crisis, and securing economic prosperity for all Ohioans,” Ms. Murray said of her former opponents, Mr. DeWine and his running mate, Secretary of State Jon Husted.
Ms. Murray now chairs Mr. Renacci’s Senate campaign. But his campaign said that doesn’t mean her endorsement represents Mr. Renacci’s tacit endorsement of Mr. DeWine over Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor.
“[Ms. Murray is] an elected official, and she’s certainly free to endorse or support whoever she likes for governor now that Jim is out of the race,” campaign spokesman James Slepian said.
Mr. Renacci will not endorse a candidate in the Republican race for governor, he said, noting Ms. Murray’s role as campaign chairman is purely honorary.
“[The endorsement is] a bit of a head-scratcher, given the stance Jim Renacci took on Mike DeWine as a career politician,” Taylor spokesman Michael Duchesne said. “Establishment is as establishment does, I suppose.”