State Rep. Tom Patton, R-Strongsville, is dropping out of the hotly contested congressional race to replace Republican Jim Renacci and instead will run for re-election to the Ohio House, Patton said in a statement Tuesday.
“Although I am no longer running to ‘drain the swamp’ I still feel called to serve our community and I look forward to continuing to work for the citizens of the 7th district in 2018 and beyond,” Patton said in the statement.
Patton noted that a family health crisis involving his newborn grandson forced him to reconsider his plans to run for the congressional seat now held by Renacci, who is running for governor in the GOP primary.
Other candidates in the congressional race include former Ohio State University football player Anthony Gonzalez, state Rep. Christina Hagan of Alliance and Army veteran Kit Seryak. On the Democratic side, Aaron Godfrey is the only declared candidate.
“I’ve always placed family first, and unfortunately, it has become clear to me that I cannot run for Congress and place my family first,” Patton said. “The time commitment needed of me and travel time to and from Washington is far greater than serving southwest Cuyahoga County as a state representative in Columbus.”
Patton, 64, has served in the Ohio General Assembly since 2003. After his wife died at age 29, Patton raised his five daughters and one son. His son died in the line of duty as a police officer.