Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio) will not run for Senate in 2018, passing up a chance to try turning Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownHillicon Valley: Senators raise concerns over government surveillance of protests | Amazon pauses police use of its facial recognition tech | FBI warns hackers are targeting mobile banking apps Democratic senators raise concerns over government surveillance of protests Some realistic solutions for income inequality MORE’s (D) seat red in a state that backed President Trump in 2016.
Tiberi on Tuesday told The Columbus Dispatch that he has decided to remain in the House rather than challenge Brown.
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“I believe I could have been the best candidate to win a seat in November of 2018 on our side,” he said. “But it became clear to me over the last several weeks that it was going to be something that I couldn’t do with 100 percent effort (considering) my job and responsibilities.”
Tiberi, who sits on the House Ways and Means Committee, said he wants to continue working on tax reform.
“Tax reform we have been talking about that for years and now we’re in a position to do it and I didn’t want to back off of that to run around the state,” he told the newspaper.
Ohio state treasurer Josh Mandel (R), who launched a failed bid to unseat Brown in 2012, in December announced that he would run against Brown for a second time.
Tiberi has served Ohio in Congress since 2001.
Following Tiberi’s announcement, the Ohio Democratic Party sought to highlight an apparent swipe by Tiberi at Mandel.
“Even in deciding to forgo a senate bid, Pat Tiberi became the latest in a long line of Ohio Republicans to go out of their way to openly question Josh’s record and ability to mount a credible campaign,” Ohio Dem spokesman Jake Strassberger said in a statement.
Tiberi told The Columbus Dispatch that unlike Mandel, he doesn’t “have the baggage of losing to the current incumbent already.”
“While we’re confident that Sherrod Brown would have defeated Tiberi in a general election, we agree with him on one point: Josh Mandel has a ton of ‘baggage,’” Strassberger added.
– Updated at 4:01 p.m.