COLUMBUS - "Hillbilly Elegy" author J.D. Vance will not challenge U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci in the Republican race for U.S. Senate.
Vance, 33, of Columbus, was being courted by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to run in the Republican primary, but ultimately decided against a bid. Renacci, who jumped into the race after a meeting at the White House, was endorsed Friday by the Ohio Republican Congressional Delegation.
Ultimately, President Donald Trump's pick won out over McConnell's.
"Thanks to everyone who encouraged me to run, but it’s just not a good time," Vance wrote on Twitter.
He cited family and work obligations in his decision to forgo a bid.
“Our Rise of the Rest fund has raised $150 million to invest in early state businesses (both inside and outside of my home state), my nonprofit organization is on the verge of bringing an addiction specialist into Ohio to help fill some significant treatment gaps, and I’ve still got a family that needs more of my time than a political campaign would permit,” Vance wrote. Vance's wife, Usha, is working as a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.
Republicans in Washington D.C. were left scrambling for a candidate after GOP front-runner Josh Mandel suddenly dropped out of the race earlier this month, citing his wife's health.
Cleveland businessman Mike Gibbons had been in the race for months, but his campaign didn't thrill the National Republican Senate Committee. Don Elijah Eckhart, of Galloway, and Marysville business owner Melissa Ackison are also running in the GOP primary.
The winner of the Republican primary will face off against incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown in a year that's expected to be good for Democrats.