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Republican candidate accused of lying about military record ends comeback bid

J.R. Majewski, Republican candidate for U.S. Representative for Ohio's 9th Congressional District, speaks at a campaign rally.

JR Majewski, a pro-Trump Republican accused of misrepresenting his military record, is ending his comeback bid.

It marks a dramatic end for the Republican candidate who lost a competitive Ohio congressional seat in 2022 after his campaign became plagued by reports that he had lied about serving in Afghanistan, despite no military records that reflect such a deployment. Majewski has denied lying about his record.

Majewski, an Air Force veteran who launched a second run against veteran Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur in April, sent an email to supporters on Tuesday announcing his decision to withdraw from the race, according to a letter obtained by POLITICO. He explained that his mother had to undergo triple bypass surgery later this month and that he wanted time to help with her recovery, especially because he lost his father during the last campaign cycle.

“Yes. I plan on withdrawing because of my mothers (sic) health,” Majewski confirmed to POLITICO, adding that “my family is top priority.”

His decision is a coup for House Republicans, many of whom were not eager to see Majewski try again after a disastrous midterm result. During redistricting, Kaptur was drawn into a Toledo-based Republican-leaning seat that former President Donald Trump would have carried by 3 points in 2020 under the new lines. But the revelation by the Associated Press that Majewski had misrepresented his military service spooked the National Republican Congressional Committee, which slashed its planned ad buy in the district during the last campaign cycle.

Majewski beat two other state legislators in the 2022 primary for the seat, despite little spending or campaign infrastructure. He was perhaps best known for twice turning his lawn into a shrine to Trump. But that lack of successful fundraising, negative reports and poor outside help ultimately contributed to Majewski’s loss, and he lost the seat to Kaptur by double digits.

He was eager to try again in 2024, until his family’s medical problems arose.

“I hope you all understand. This is one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make,” Majewski wrote in the email.


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