COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A Donald Trump-backed Ohio Republican whose military record was called into question during his unsuccessful 2022 congressional campaign says he is abandoning plans to run again next year.
J.R. Majewski tweeted Tuesday that he is bowing out of his latest effort to win the GOP nomination and take on Democratic U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur due to his mother’s health.
“Last cycle, I lost my father before the primary election and I can’t risk not giving my full attention to my family,” he said on Twitter. “But don’t fret, I love this country too much to stay idle.”
He had planned to focus his campaign on working-class citizens and “putting America first.”
Majewski, of Port Clinton on Lake Erie, first drew public attention for drawing a sprawling banner supporting Trump across his lawn, and the former president went on to promote Majewski’s political future at a rally in southwest Ohio in November.
The former nuclear power industry worker was the surprise winner of last year’s four-way Republican primary for the Toledo-area 9th Congressional District, winning just under 36% of the vote. He bested two sitting Republican state lawmakers and a third rival to secure the nomination, but ultimately lost to Kaptur, the longest serving woman in Congress, by more than 13 percentage points.
Ahead of the election, The Associated Press reported that Majewski had misrepresented his military record to voters. He claimed he has served in the Air Force in Afghanistan, but public records indicated he had never deployed there and instead spent six months on a base in Qatar. Majewski denied the report and defiantly remained in the race, saying his deployment was classified and therefore not present in public records.
The AP later reported that Majewski was demoted in the military for driving drunk on an air base, another contradiction to his previous statements.