James B. Renacci /rɪˈneɪsi/ (born December 3, 1958) is an American accountant, businessman, and politician who was elected U.S. Representative for Ohio's 16th congressional district in 2010. A Republican, he is a former city council president and two-term Mayor of Wadsworth, Ohio. Renacci was the unsuccessful Republican challenger to incumbent Senator Sherrod Brown in the 2018 U.S. Senate election.
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Ohio's 16th district
|Assumed office |
January 3, 2011
|Preceded by||John Boccieri|
|Succeeded by||Anthony Gonzalez (Elect)|
|Mayor of Wadsworth|
|Preceded by||Caesar Carrino|
|Succeeded by||Robin Laubaugh|
|Born||December 3, 1958|
Monongahela, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Education||Indiana University of Pennsylvania (BS)|
James Renacci was born December 3, 1958, in Monongahela, Pennsylvania, the son of Anna Marie (Sasko), a nurse, and Evo Renacci, a railroad worker. Renacci earned a degree in business administration from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and became a Certified Public Accountant and financial advisor.
In 2003, Renacci formed the LTC Companies group, a financial consulting service that had partial ownership of three Harley-Davidson dealerships in Columbus, the Lifestyle Communities Pavilion in Columbus, and Renacci-Doraty Chevrolet in Wadsworth.
Renacci has been involved with real estate, automobile dealerships, nursing homes, and other businesses. He has made use of the legal system during his business career, including initiating legal proceedings against former business partners, companies, and the state of Ohio. He has also been sued, including for the wrongful death of a patient in one of the nursing homes he owns. That case was settled out of court.
Renacci became a partner and managing board member of the former Arena Football League's Columbus Destroyers. The team finished the 2007 season as the AFL Eastern Conference Champions with Renacci as President and General Manager. Renacci also served as AFL Executive Committee Vice Chairman and is a partial owner of the Lancaster JetHawks, a minor league baseball team.
Renacci announced on August 24, 2009, that he would run for the U.S. House of Representatives in Ohio's 16th district, officially filing on January 11, 2010. Renacci ran as a "Contender" of the National Republican Congressional Committee in its "Young Guns" program. Renacci defeated Democratic incumbent John Boccieri by 52% to 41% with 7% of the vote going to Libertarian candidate Jeffrey Blevins.
The Plain Dealer reported in September 2011 that the new district map of Ohio would place Congressman Betty Sutton in "a Republican leaning district that's being constructed to favor Renacci." In December, Sutton filed to run against Renacci. Later that month, Roll Call reported that a poll taken at least two months earlier showed the two candidates "neck and neck at 45 percent." The race was included on the Washington Post's list of top 10 House races to watch in 2012. Renacci defeated Sutton by a 52% to 48% margin on election day.
In 2012, the Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated campaign contributions made by employees of an Ohio-based direct marketing corporation, Suarez Corporation Industries, to the campaigns of Renacci and Josh Mandel. Renacci's campaign returned all of the donations. The owner of the company was later only found guilty of witness tampering in the case and served time in prison.
Renacci was ranked the 46th most bipartisan member of the U.S. House of Representatives during the 114th United States Congress (and the third most bipartisan member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Ohio) in the Bipartisan Index created by The Lugar Center and the McCourt School of Public Policy that ranks members of the United States Congress by their degree of bipartisanship (by measuring the frequency each member's bills attract co-sponsors from the opposite party and each member's co-sponsorship of bills by members of the opposite party).
In the 112th Congress, Renacci served on the Committee on Financial Services, as vice chair of the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit, and a member of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.
Renacci has been a member of the following caucuses:
In January 2017, several news outlets reported that Renacci was considering running for Governor of Ohio in 2018. Politico reported that "as a wealthy auto dealer prior to being elected to Congress, Renacci would potentially be able to self-fund a statewide bid." On March 21, 2017, Renacci announced his intention to run for the Republican nomination for governor of Ohio in 2018. He dropped out of the governor's race in January 2018 in order to run for U.S. Senate.
In January 2018, Renacci announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate. On May 8, 2018, he won the Republican primary, becoming the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate from Ohio. Renacci was defeated by incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown in the November 6, 2018, general election. Brown received 53% of the vote, while Renacci received 47%.
In June 2016, the Ohio Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the state of Ohio must refund $359,822 that Renacci and his wife had paid in penalties in a dispute over their 2000 taxes. The court's opinion stated that the Ohio tax commissioner had abused his discretion by penalizing the Renaccis because the couple had reasonably believed they did not owe taxes on profits from an entity that the state later determined was subject to taxation. The Renaccis had relied on an earlier legal interpretation in delaying tax payments.
|2010||U.S. House of Representatives||General||Jim Renacci||Republican||114,652||52%||John Boccieri||Democratic||90,833||41%||Jeffrey Blevins||Libertarian||14,585||7%|
|2012||U.S. House of Representatives||General||Jim Renacci||Republican||185,167||52%||Betty Sutton||Democratic||170,604||48%|
|2014||U.S. House of Representatives||General||Jim Renacci||Republican||130,463||64%||Pete Crossland||Democratic||74,158||36%|
|2016||U.S. House of Representatives||General||Jim Renacci||Republican||221,495||65%||Keith Mundy||Democratic||117,296||35%|
|2018||United States Senate||General||Jim Renacci||Republican||2,011,832||46.79%||Sherrod Brown||Democratic||2,286,730||53.19%|
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 16th congressional district
|Party political offices|
| Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Ohio
|Current U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
| United States Representatives by seniority