A Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives confirmed Friday that he will not run against Gov. Mike DeWine (R) for Ohio’s top office.

“It is far better in Ohio than in D.C.,” Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH-08) reportedly said. “The biggest impact I can have is in Congress being the representative for Ohio’s 8th District.”

Warren had received encouragement among Ohioans to challenge DeWine after he supported President Donald J. Trump’s challenges to the 2020 election results.

“Prior to March of 2021, I hadn’t seriously considered running for governor,” he said. “I had an overwhelming outpouring of support to consider it. I had leaders all over the state, dozens of state reps, a substantial number of state senators, county commissioners, county GOP leaders, central committee members. There was a lot of encouragement.”

Ultimately, he decided that he did not have the “infrastructure” to run a statewide gubernatorial campaign.

Meanwhile, DeWine’s stock among conservative Ohioans has dropped during the COVID-19 pandemic, as he adopted largely the same lockdown and masking policies as his Democrat counterparts in other states. However, DeWine’s COVID-19 approval rating among all Ohioans was as high as 76 percent in the fall of 2020.

Still, he’s ripe for a challenge from his right, and currently, that challenge comes in the form of former Rep. Jim Renacci, who was an outspoken ally of Trump.

With no end in sight, the COVID-19 pandemic figures to be a hot topic in 2022.

When President Joe Biden announced vaccine mandates over the summer, many of which have now been killed in courts, Renacci chided DeWine.

“It has been 33 days since Joe Biden announced his vaccine mandate for workers and Mike DeWine has still done nothing to shield Ohioans. DeWine continually proves he is a feckless leader who refuses to protect Ohioans’ from overbearing mandates that strip away our freedoms. We have seen throughout the pandemic other leaders like Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott govern better than DeWine, who instead chooses to lead like Andrew Cuomo and Gavin Newsom,” he said in October.

More recently, Renacci threw his weight behind H.B. 218, a bill passed by the Ohio House of Representatives mandating exemptions from any vaccine.

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Pete D’Abrosca is a contributor at The Ohio Star and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Mike DeWine” by Vivien McClain Photography CC BY-SA 4.0.