OH-Sen: GOP targets Democratic Sen. Brown with decades-old domestic abuse allegation

OH-Sen: GOP targets Democratic Sen. Brown with decades-old domestic abuse allegation
Domestic abuse allegations in Sen. Sherrod Brown's past have been brought back to light by his Republican opponent, Rep. Jim Renacci. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

At the same time that Democratic senators are calling for an investigation into sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh from the 1980s, Ohio Republicans are bringing up an alleged assault incident from Sen. Sherrod Brown’s (D-Ohio) past, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

Brown, the incumbent senator who is facing a challenge from Rep. Jim Renacci, was accused of domestic assault by his then-wife in 1986, according to court documents. She has gone on to support Brown in his previous two Senate elections.

“Sherrod Brown was confronted with his past domestic abuse last week, but Ohio media were quick to sweep it under the rug,” said Jane Timken, head of the Ohio GOP. “Sherrod Brown has never had to answer questions about his court-documented domestic abuse, and in the era of the MeToo movement, this is unacceptable.”

What’s the story?

Court records from Brown’s 1986 divorce from Larke Recchie document her saying Brown had pushed, shoved and struck her on numerous occasions, and that she feared for her safety.

The allegations, which have surfaced during Brown’s previous election campaigns, were brought up this time by a group called “#MeTooOhio” in a minute-long ad.

“I am definitely afraid of my husband, that he has struck and bullied me on several different occasions, he has completely destroyed my peace of mind and that I am extremely intimidated by him,” Recchie said in the 1986 court records.

Brown has, for decades, denied committing any act of violence or intimidation against his ex-wife.

Renacci seized the opportunity to call out Brown for the decades-old allegation.

“Violence against women in any form is not acceptable and has no place in our society,” Renacci said. “Sherrod Brown’s well documented history of domestic violence is deeply troubling. Ohioans deserve to know all the facts, and judge his fitness for public office for themselves.”

What did his ex-wife say?

Recchie defended Brown against this most recent wave of attacks.

“This isn’t the first time someone has gone after my family to score cheap political points,” Recchie said in the Thursday statement. “I’m dismayed that Congressman Renacci would do something this shameless, despite the fact that I’ve already addressed this matter. I was proud to support Sherrod in 2006 and 2012 — just as I am this time around.

“Anyone who suggests he is not an honorable man is just wrong. He’s a great father to our daughters Emily and Liz and he’s a wonderful grandfather to our grandchildren. Disparaging my family for political gain is disgusting, and Congressman Renacci should know better,” Recchie concluded.