Jim Renacci is standing by his decision to hop a ride with a strip club owner on his private jet to attend a meeting with religious leaders, a flight that is getting some criticism for the Republican Senate candidate.
Renacci flew with Don Ksiezyk on Ksiezyk’s private plane for an event earlier this week, Cleveland.com reported. The report found that the plane is registered to the same address as the Peek-a-Boo Club in Cleveland, a strip club owned by Ksiezyk.
When questioned about the decision, Renacci deflected to a line of attack he has been pushing by referencing Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown’s 1986 divorce in which his wife claimed she felt frightened by him.
“I’m going with a volunteer, and no one’s concerned about traveling with him or anything,” Renacci said. “Again, it’s so sad that we’re worried about my travel, which is legal, but you won’t report on Sherrod Brown’s multiple abuses over the years.”
As the Cleveland.com report noted, Brown’s ex-wife has since become a supporter of her ex-husband and has renounced Renacci’s attack.
This is not the first time that Jim Renacci has leaned on the support of his strip-club-owning friend. The report found that Ksiezyk has flown Renacci to a number of campaign events across the state of Ohio.
Renacci responded by saying it is not his job to investigate anyone who offers to help him during the campaign.
“He’s a volunteer who… I met during the campaign. He asked to volunteer for me,” Renacci said. “I’m not going to vet volunteers, and I’m not going to vet the press’s looking at volunteers.”
Rep. Jim Renacci, the Ohio Republican Senate candidate, defended flying in a strip-club owner's private plane to a meeting earlier this week with faith leaders in Scioto County, OH. https://t.co/XlIuDpJiBp— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) October 6, 2018
Jim Renacci has fallen behind Brown in polling and has caused some concern among Republicans about his lack of campaign spending. As TheBlaze noted, Renacci was hand-picked by Donald Trump’s team to take on Brown but now appears to be squandering a chance to make it a competitive race.
Brown has spent $12.5 million on advertising since May, while Renacci has spent just $481,000 during that time frame.
“Let me be clear,” Nick Everhart, an Ohio Republican political strategist, told Cleveland.com. “In 2018, you absolutely are not going to win a tier-one U.S. Senate campaign against anyone in the country, let alone as tough a political candidate as Sherrod Brown without using the most powerful communication and advertising tool on earth — paid TV.”
Jim Renacci has not said if he will stop accepting flights on the private jet of his strip-club-owning supporter.