Who is Mike Gibbons? What to know about businessman leading Ohio GOP Senate primary polls

As midterm primary races heat up across the country, perhaps no congressional race is as unsettled as the Ohio GOP Senate race.

Businessman Mike Gibbons appears to have inched out a slight lead over a field of similarly Trump-aligned GOP candidates that includes former Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, former Ohio GOP chair Jane Timken and venture capitalist JD Vance.

Despite Gibbons’ slim lead in the polls, the Republican primary is still considered wide open. One Fox News poll found nearly one-quarter of voters still undecided.

Former President Donald Trump weighed in on the election with just weeks to go before the primary election by giving his highly-coveted endorsement to Vance.

Ohio GOP: Senate primary shows shifting tone among Republican candidates

Who is Mike Gibbons?

Gibbons is a millionaire investment banker and longtime GOP donor who is running for Senate for a second time.

He first ran in 2018 in a failed campaign that saw Rep. Jim Renacci win the Republican primary and Trump endorsement.

Having never held public office, Gibbons has prided himself on being “a businessman, not a politician,” in the mold of Trump. He has put up more than $11 million of his own money to finance his campaign, more than any other Ohio GOP candidate, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Gibbons co-chaired fundraising in Ohio for Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, helping raise more than $1 million for the eventual president-elect's run. Gibbons said he turned down a job in Trump’s Small Business Administration after he won.

How old is Mike Gibbons?

Mike Gibbons was born on April 10, 1952. He just turned 70 years old.

What is Mike Gibbons’ platform?

Gibbons is running on a standard conservative platform, with much of his pitch centering on his business background and how hewould help rein in the federal government’s spending and bureaucracy.

Part of his campaign promise is “job creation,” which he aims to do by supporting lower taxes and slashing business regulations. But he also drew criticism from many Republicans over a comment that surfaced from last year in which Gibbons said “the middle-class isn’t paying any kind of a fair share,” when discussing income tax.

Gibbons is also proposing term limits on members of Congress, a move that would require a constitutional amendment but one he says is needed to combat "career politicians."

In one advertisement, he tries to channel Trump, the businessman and host of the former television show "The Apprentice." Gibbons stands over a conference room desk, looks into the camera and delivers Trump's trademark line: “You're fired," speaking to politicians.

Like the rest of the GOP field, Gibbons is a proponent of finishing the U.S.-Mexico border wall that began construction under Trump. He has also signed onto the effort to ban “critical race theory” from public school curriculums to stop what he claims “leftist indoctrination.”

He is also anti-abortion, favors gun rights and wants to roll back the government’s role in health care.

Where is Mike Gibbons from?

Gibbons grew up in Parma, Ohio, a Cleveland suburb. His father was a high school teacher.

Who has endorsed Mike Gibbons?

GOP Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is the biggest name to endorse Gibbons so far. Paul is joined by GOP Florida Congresswoman Kat Cammack.

Gibbons' Ohio endorsements include four Republican representatives in the Ohio legislature and several local public officials in addition to the Republican Party of Cuyahoga and Scioto counties.

The We the People Convention, an Ohio-based activist group that called on Trump to institute martial law to redo the 2020 election, endorsed Gibbons.

Where did Mike Gibbons go to school?

Gibbons graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science from Kenyon College in 1974. He got a master’s degree from Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management in 1975 and a juris doctor from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 1981.

Is Mike Gibbons married?

Gibbons has five children with his wife Diane.

Who is Mike Gibbons running against?

  • Josh Mandel: What to know about the ex-Ohio state treasurer in his third senate run

  • Jane Timken: What to know about the ex-Ohio GOP chair running for Senate

  • JD Vance: What to know about the venture capitalist and author running for office

  • Tim Ryan: What to know about the Democratic congressman running for senate in Ohio

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Ohio Senate race 2022: What to know about GOP businessman Mike Gibbons

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