Former NFL wide receiver wins GOP primary in Ohio

Former NFL wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez won his GOP congressional primary on Tuesday, a big boost for establishment Republicans who had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to help him win in the red-leaning district.

Gonzalez defeated state Rep. Christina Hagan by a 13-point margin in the primary for the Ohio 16th Congressional District. Gonzalez will move on to the general election against Democrat Susan Moran Palmer, with the Republican heavily favored in a district President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE won by 17 points in 2016.


Gonzalez is well known among fans of the Ohio State Buckeyes football team — his late-game reception against the Michigan Wolverines, the Buckeyes’s bitter rivals, in 2005 helped clinch the game and a spot for Gonzalez in Ohio State lore.

He entered his first congressional race as the favorite, outraising Hagan by an almost 3-to-1 margin during the campaign. And he got a late boost from the Chamber of Commerce, which spent $300,000 on his behalf.

But Hagan ran hard to Gonzalez’s right, framing herself as an ardent supporter of President Trump. Along the way, she won the backing of Trump allies like former White House communications director Anthony ScaramucciAnthony ScaramucciPresident sinks amid stumbles over protests Sunday shows preview: Protests against George Floyd’s death, police brutality rock the nation for a second week OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Former defense leaders pile on Trump criticism | Esper sends troops called to DC area home | US strikes Taliban in Afghanistan MORE as well as top conservatives like Rep. Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsTim Scott to introduce GOP police reform bill next week House GOP delays police reform bill White House says Trump may issue executive order on police reform MORE (R-N.C.), Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanHouse Republicans hopeful about bipartisan path forward on police reform legislation Tim Scott to introduce GOP police reform bill next week Floyd’s brother urges Congress to take action MORE (R-Ohio) and the Family Research Council.

Gonzalez will face Palmer in November’s general election for outgoing Rep. Jim RenacciJames (Jim) B. RenacciOhio is suddenly a 2020 battleground Democrats fear Ohio slipping further away in 2020 Medicare for All won’t deliver what Democrats promise MORE’s (R) seat.

Renacci won the Republican primary for Senate on Tuesday and will square off with incumbent 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 (D) in November. 

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