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Trump hints at primary challenge for Ohio Gov. DeWine, who acknowledged Biden as president-elect

Rick Rouan and Jessie Balmert, The Columbus Dispatch
·1 min read
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President Donald Trump appears to be encouraging a primary challenge to Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine.

Trump tweeted on Monday morning "Who will be running for Governor of the Great State of Ohio? Will be hotly contested!"

DeWine was a co-chair of Trump's re-election campaign in Ohio, but he was among a select group of Republicans who last week acknowledged former Vice President Joe Biden as president-elect.

On CNN on Sunday, DeWine said Trump should begin the transition to Biden. Trump has refused to concede the race and has used his Twitter account to advance unfounded conspiracy theories about the election.

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DeWine's office could not immediately be reached for comment.

The tweet added fuel to what some were speculating could be a hint from former Rep. Jim Renacci, R-Ohio, about a potential gubernatorial primary. He encouraged voters to "Ditch DeWine" in a weekend tweet.

Renacci wouldn't say whether he was running for governor, but said primaries are an opportunity for change if Ohioans are unhappy with the direction of the state.

President Donald Trump talks to Ohio Gov. Mike and First Lady Fran DeWine after Trump arrived at Rickenbacker International Airport on Oct. 24 in Columbus prior to a rally in Circleville. The DeWines did not attend the rally. Trump appeared to hint at a primary challenge for DeWine in a Tweet on Monday morning.
President Donald Trump talks to Ohio Gov. Mike and First Lady Fran DeWine after Trump arrived at Rickenbacker International Airport on Oct. 24 in Columbus prior to a rally in Circleville. The DeWines did not attend the rally. Trump appeared to hint at a primary challenge for DeWine in a Tweet on Monday morning.

"It’s always the right for citizens to primary or run for office if they believe change is necessary," Renacci said. "I never feared a primary when I was running."

Renacci said he doesn't believe DeWine "has the right, constitutionally," to issue shutdown orders in response to the coronavirus pandemic and that the governor should instead work with the Ohio General Assembly.

This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Trump hints at primary challenge for Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine in tweet