CLEVELAND - Jim Renacci currently represents Ohio's 16th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. This year's election, however, pits Renacci against Rep. Betty Sutton, who currently represents Ohio's 13th Congressional District.
That's because last year the congressional districts were redrawn and two seats were eliminated. It leaves two incumbents battling for one seat in the 16th district. Renacci is a Republican; Sutton is a Democrat.
Renacci grew up in a working class family in western Pennsylvania. His mother was a nurse; his father a railroad worker. Renacci was the first person in his family to attend college.
He graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor's degree in business administration. He became a certified public accountant and later moved to Wadsworth.
"My parents taught me, again blue collar union family, one thing in life is that we all have opportunity," said Renacci.
Renacci has served as a volunteer firefighter, was a Wadsworth city council member and was mayor of Wadsworth. Renacci was elected to Congress in November 2010. He said his number one priority is "jobs, jobs, jobs."
The one thing the two representatives agree on is that they are polar opposites.
"She (Sutton) believes in big government. I believe in less government. She believes in more taxes. I believe in less taxes," said Renacci.
The one-term Republican said his biggest accomplishment is being able to work with members of both parties.
"The most proud moment was when an individual from the other side walked over and said you look like someone who wants to get something done," Renacci said.
Renacci said that small group of lawmakers from both parties is making progress.
"We now have five pieces of legislation that has come out and I look to grow that group," Renacci said.
Renacci and his wife have three grown children, and lives in Wadsworth.
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