EXCLUSIVE – Cleveland businessman and 2018 Republican candidate for the Ohio Senate, Mike Gibbons, takes an important step towards launching a second Senate candidacy.
Gibbons kicks off a listening tour on Monday to speak with Ohio voters as he kicks off the exploratory phase of what will likely turn into an official campaign in the 2022 race to succeed the retirement of GOP Senator Rob Portman .
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In a video that was first shared nationally with Fox News, Gibbons explained that, “Over the next few weeks, I will be traveling across Ohio to listen to your concerns and answer your questions. have made my American dream come true. We need men and women of principle willing to invest again in America to help others achieve their American cream. I hope you will join me in this fight. “
Gibbons highlights his working-class upbringing in the video, standing outside the modest two-family Cleveland home where he was raised as a child. The son of a high school teacher and wrestling trainer, Gibbons went on to found the Cleveland-based investment banking firm Brown, Gibbons, Lang and Company.
“I worked my way up the ranks in business, eventually starting my own business that employs hard-working Ohioans who invest in our community. Focusing on family, hard work and willingness to take risks has helped me. to make my American dream come true, ”Gibbons said in his video.
In a statement to Fox News, Gibbons touted his business credentials, saying that “this listening tour will allow me to meet directly with voters who understand that we cannot afford to send another politician or party insider to Washington. We need to send someone with a business background who isn’t afraid to stand up to their own party and speak the truth. “
Gibbons also pointed out that since Portman announced in late January that he would not run for a third term in the Senate, “I have been overwhelmed by the number of phone calls I have received from Tory activists, elected officials and business leaders encouraging me to run for Ohio in the Senate. “
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Gibbons resigned last month from Ohio Strong Action, the conservative super PAC he created nearly two years ago, and he’s headed to launch a Senate campaign. At the time, he said in a statement that “if I decide to run, my first act as a candidate will be to make an initial investment of $ 5 million in my own campaign.”
If he officially becomes a candidate, as expected, Gibbons would be the third staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump to seek the GOP nomination. The two main Republican candidates already in the race – former State GOP President Jane Timken and former State Treasurer and former Senate candidate Josh Mandel – have both lent their support to the coins Trump mistresses of their campaigns. And more than a half-dozen other Republicans, including Rep. Warren Davidson, are considering offers.
Trump won Ohio, once a crucial presidential battlefield state, by eight points in both his White House victory in 2016 and his reelection loss last year.
Longtime Democratic Representative Tim Ryan from northeast Ohio is likely to launch a campaign, with a handful of other Democrats seen as potential suitors.
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The US Senate is currently split 50 to 50 between the two parties, but Democrats hold a razor thin majority, due to the decisive vote of Vice President Kamala Harris, who is Senate Speaker. This means that the GOP only needs a one-seat pickup to win back the majority.
But Republicans are defending 20 of the 34 seats up for grabs in 2022. Besides Portman, the GOP is also defending open seats on major battlefields in North Carolina and Pennsylvania, as well as in Missouri and Alabama.
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