Renacci gets Republican nod to face Boccieri

May 5, 2010

WADSWORTH — Jim Renacci, a successful businessman and former Wadsworth mayor, has won the chance to knock U.S. Rep. John Boccieri out of Congress next fall.

Renacci was the man Republican leadership hoped would win the nomination for Ohio’s 16th District seat. But he had a fight from Matt Miller, a former Ashland County commissioner who was making his third bid for the seat.

Strong showings in Stark and Medina counties appear to have helped Renacci defeat Miller. Talk radio show host Paul Schiffer, of Canton, finished third and retired Canton businessman H. Doyle Smith finished fourth, according to unofficial election results.

Renacci will be on the Nov. 2 ballot bidding to unseat Boccieri, D-Alliance, who is serving his first term. Also on the ballot will be Libertarian Party candidate Jeffrey J. Blevins of Wadsworth.

The unofficial count — posted at 2 a.m. — had Renacci with 30,107 votes, while Miller received 24,081, Schiffer had 4,997 and Smith had 1,901. Miller won in Ashland and Wayne counties. Renacci won in Medina and Stark counties, results show.

Renacci said he will continue with his message about jobs and excessive government spending leading up to the November election. Last summer, few people in the 16th District knew Renacci.

“We talked about jobs, we talked about government spending. We were able to garner support and I appreciate the support we received,” he said.

He said that residents of the 16th District are unhappy with Boccieri and his record of voting with Democratic leadership.

Boccieri replaced U.S. Rep. Ralph Regula, R-Bethlehem Township, who held the seat for 36 years before retiring in 2008. Before that Frank T. Bow, also a Republican, served 22 years representing the 16th District.

Republicans want the seat back and have been banking on Renacci since last summer. He emerged from a pool of 15 initial candidates — Schiffer and Smith weren’t part of that group — to earn a nod from Republican Party chairmen in the four counties the 16th District covers.

Throughout the campaign, party leaders pitched Renacci as the candidate with the best shot at unseating Boccieri in November.

Renacci cited his business experience, telling crowds that he has spent years creating jobs and he is more acquainted with signing the front of a paycheck, as opposed to the back.

Miller noted his campaign once again was outspent, as party support helped Renacci build a large war chest. “But we were still very competitive right up to the end,” he said, thanking his supporters for their work and votes.

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