A crowded field to challenge U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur for her Congressional seat next year is a little less packed.
J.R. Majewski, a Trump-backed Republican in Ohio whose military record was called into question during his unsuccessful 2022 congressional campaign, announced Monday that he is dropping out of the race.
“Unfortunately, I have to bow out of the race for OH09 due to my mothers health (sic),” Majewski said on his Facebook page.
“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. “But don’t fret, I love this country too much to stay idle.”
Majewski, of Port Clinton, previously worked in the nuclear power industry. He drew attention for drawing a sprawling banner supporting former President Donald Trump across his lawn, and also had been a pro-Trump hip-hop performer and promoter of the baseless rightwing QAnon conspiracy theory. He was also at the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, though he was not accused of any wrongdoing.
Majewski was the surprise winner of last year’s Republican primary for the Toledo-area 9th Congressional District. He bested two sitting Republican state lawmakers to secure the nomination, but ultimately lost to Kaptur, the longest serving woman in Congress, by more than 13 percentage points.
Former Ohio House Representative Craig Riedel, a Republican from Defiance, has announced his candidacy; he lost to Majewski in the primary.
Other candidates running in the 2024 Republican primary for the 9th district include former Walbridge Mayor Daniel Wilczynski and Steve Lankenau, former mayor of Napoleon.
The Associated Press reported in September that Majewski had misrepresented his military record to voters. He claimed that he served in the Air Force in Afghanistan, but public records indicated that 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 so 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.
(The Associated Press contributed to this story.)