CINCINNATI (AP) — The Republican nominee looking to unseat two-term U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown wants term limits that include only two terms for senators.
U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci, of Wadsworth, announced Tuesday he supports a maximum of three terms for U.S. representatives and two for senators. Brown, a Democrat, is pursuing his third six-year term in office.
Highland County Republicans Dick and Paulette Donley and Shawn Priest attended Renacci’s press conference.
Without mentioning Brown by name, Renacci said “career politicians” who hold office for decades are to blame for the stalemate in the U.S. Senate, and new representatives with new ideas are the only way to fix what he called “a broken system.”
“Our representatives should go to Washington, get the job done and leave,” Renacci said.
Brown, 65, entered the Senate in 2007 after 14 years in the U.S. House. He’s one of Ohio’s best-known politicians. But national Republicans view him as vulnerable this fall, in part because of President Donald Trump’s strong 2016 victory in the politically divided state.
By signing the pledge, Renacci, 59, agreed to co-sponsor and vote for the U.S. Term Limits amendment, a joint resolution introduced to the U.S. House and Senate judiciary committees in January 2017. He also promised he would limit himself to two terms as senator, if elected.
U.S. Term Limits is a Washington-based nonpartisan organization that advocates for term limits at all levels of government. According to a its poll conducted with consulting firm McLaughlin and Associates, 82 percent of Americans surveyed support an amendment that would institute congressional term limits.
Renacci added that term limits would bring the politicians’ priorities back to their constituents.
“Right now, they’re making decisions based on the next election instead of the next generation,” he said.
Renacci is in his fourth congressional term. Preston Maddock, a spokesman for Brown’s campaign, pointed out that means he’s in violation of what Maddock called “a gimmick pledge.”
Renacci’s own tenure in Congress is only one way in which the “career politician” strategy risks backfiring this year.
Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine, at the top of the ticket as the party’s nominee for governor, spent 12 years in the U.S. Senate, four years as Ohio lieutenant governor and eight years as a congressman. He also served in the state Legislature.
Statehouse Correspondent Julie Carr Smyth contributed to this story from Columbus.