COLUMBUS, Ohio – Monday morning Cleveland businessman and 2018 U.S. Senate candidate Mike Gibbons announced a statewide tour during which he will listen to what Ohio voters have to say as he considers a run for office in 2022.
“This listening tour will allow me the opportunity to meet directly with the voters who understand that we can’t afford to send another politician or party insider to Washington. We need to send someone with a business background, who will fight for working-class Ohioans, who’s unafraid to stand up to his own party and who will always tell the truth,” said Gibbons.
Gibbons said he’s received an overwhelming number of calls and messages since Republican U.S. Senator Rob Portman announced in January that he will not seek re-election.
Raised in Parma, Gibbons was Ohio finance co-chair for Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, has given over $600,000 to conservative campaigns and causes in 2020 and is the founder of Brown, Gibbons, Lang & Company, an investment banking firm headquartered in Cleveland.
“In 2018, we built an 88-county grassroots organization, and I’ve spent the past three years helping elect conservative outsiders in Ohio, giving dozens of speeches around the state on behalf of President Trump and Republican candidates,” said Gibbons
A first-time candidate in 2018, Gibbons won 38 counties in the Republican primary. He told The Hill that if he does make a second bid, the first thing he will do is give $5M of his own money to the campaign.
A video accompanying the Gibbons released statement is below.
Two-term Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel announced his candidacy for Portman’s seat in February – soon after former Ohio Republican Party Chairwoman Jane Timken resigned from her post, hired two former Portman campaign operatives and declared her candidacy. Military leader and EMS pilot Mike Leipold is in the race. Mark Pukita, a Dublin businessman is also vying for the seat.
Last week, Geraldo Rivera created a 36-hour whirlwind of speculation when he tweeted from Florida that he was thinking about throwing his hat in the ring, only to nix the idea by the next day – after an alleged ultimatum from Fox News to pick either politics or reporting.
U.S. Representatives Bill Johnson (R-OH-6), Brad Wenstrup (R-OH-2), Steve Stivers (R-OH-15) and Dave Joyce (R-OH-14) are all believed to be considering a run for the upper chamber. Nonpolitician, and author of the book that became a NetFlix hit Hillbilly Elergy, J.D. Vance is also a prospect.
Establishment Republican and Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose is a potential competitor whose communications team left the door open to the possibility when The Ohio Star asked if he would – citing the fact there is plenty of time before the determination would have to be made.
The Secretary of State’s office disclosed that LaRose chose to accept over $1M linked to Mark Zuckerberg in 2020 to defray election costs. Time Magazine published an article in February that discussed a “Well-funded Cabal” and their efforts to make sure that Donald Trump didn’t retain the Presidency – the article cited the $300M a fund named after Zuckerberg and his wife gave to states around the country.
This in addition to a November 2019 meeting Zuckerberg hosted at his home to set the agenda on messaging and for the campaign – a meeting with leaders that included Jack Dorsey of Twitter and Vanita Gupta, the latter who ended up becoming a Biden nominee for Associate Attorney General.
On the Democratic side of the ticket are former Director of the Ohio Department of Health Amy Acton and Congressman Tim Ryan. Neither candidate has declared. Last week a political group that supports scientists running for office launched a campaign, including money, urging Acton to run. Ryan was the topic of tweet involving Hillary Clinton that seemed to encourage him to contend.
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Jack Windsor is Statehouse Reporter at The Ohio Star. Windsor is also an independent investigative reporter. Follow Jack on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Mike Gibbons” by Mike Gibbons.