Trailing in the Ohio Senate race, GOP Rep. Jim Renacci has begun circulating a claim that multiple women have come to him to report that Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) assaulted them, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Brown has denied the allegation, and Renacci offered few details and no evidence about what exactly Brown supposedly did to these anonymous women.
“I’ve had multiple women contact me and say I was assaulted by Sherrod Brown,” Renacci told the Enquirer. “It’s more than just one instance. That makes it even worse.”
Renacci, when pressed on the topic during an interview with WVHU radio in West Virginia, admitted that there was nothing concrete behind these claims he was telling the media.
“So these are unsubstantiated, I understand that,” Renacci said. All he would say is that more than one woman has reported assaults that occurred sometime between 1987 and 2004.
The decision to use unsubstantiated assault allegations as a political weapon stands out, coming so close to the fraught confirmation process of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who was accused of sexual assault by several women.
Renacci’s own comments on that situation conflict what he is doing to Brown.
“When there’s no substantiation, you shouldn’t be attacking people,” Renacci said about Democrats attempting to derail Kavanaugh’s nomination due to allegations against him.
How did Brown respond?
The Columbus Dispatch reported that Brown was “outraged” by Renacci’s comments, and said “There’s nothing true about it.”
These new allegations from Renacci come after the Republican has spent the past few months drawing attention to an allegation of assault Brown’s ex-wife made in a court filing for their divorce in 1986.
Brown’s ex-wife, Larke Recchie, stands behind the senator.
“I couldn’t be prouder to have Sherrod Brown as Ohio’s senator. I understand politics can sometimes be nasty, but Jim Renacci should be ashamed,” Recchie said. “[Renacci is] clearly a desperate candidate just doing whatever he can do to just upend everything.”