Ohio dealer tops clunkers author in House race
Renacci lost store, won re-election
All seven current and former dealers running for seats in the U.S. House of Representatives won on Election Day, mostly by comfortable margins. But the one hotly contested race -- in Ohio -- involved Washington's handling of the auto industry.
Jim Renacci, R-Ohio, co-owner of a Chevrolet dealership that was rejected as General Motors went through bankruptcy, was narrowly re-elected over Democratic Rep. Betty Sutton after Ohio lost two seats in Congress and the state's redistricting plan forced the two incumbents to compete to represent a district south of Cleveland.
Sutton, a labor lawyer, authored the House bill that created the cash for clunkers program. Congress passed that law in mid-2009, at the peak of the recession, in a bid to boost auto sales by offering cash incentives to customers who turned in old vehicles for new, fuel-efficient models.
Groups such as the National Automobile Dealers Association concluded that cash for clunkers boosted sales, but Renacci said during the campaign that Washington's intervention wasn't enough to save his store and other companies in the industry.
"I saw what it did," he said last month during an interview with the editorial board of the Sun Star-Courier,
a suburban Cleveland newspaper. "That act didn't create jobs, it destroyed them."
Renacci won 52 percent to 48 percent, a margin of around 15,000 votes.
You can reach Gabe Nelson at firstname.lastname@example.org.