Trump-endorsed candidate will get GOP competitors in Ohio congressional district

Shay Hawkins watched former President Donald Trump endorse Max Miller within the race for the Republican nomination in a northeast Ohio congressional district — and he determined to run anyway.

Hawkins, who’s black and wheelchair certain, is the president of a commerce affiliation that promotes alternative zones. Hawkins is also a former aide to South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott and former Ohio Rep. Jim Renacci, who’s operating for governor. These credentials are lots good, as is Hawkins’s private story. However that is Ohio, the place grassroots Republicans revere Trump, and the previous president’s selection on this Cleveland-area seat is Miller, his former aide within the White Home.

That’s a excessive political hurdle to leap. However Hawkins isn’t discouraged, telling the Washington Examiner this month: “I’m going to win the first.”

Hawkins and Miller are slated to run within the new sixteenth Congressional District, which is actually changing the outdated thirteenth Congressional District that’s being vacated by Republican Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, who’s on the outs with Trump after voting to question him early final yr. Nonetheless, the Ohio Supreme Courtroom rejected the map drawn by the Ohio Redistricting Fee in decennial reapportionment, and adjustments are forthcoming that may have an effect on the first.

Hawkins, 47, is waging his first marketing campaign for Congress, however not his first marketing campaign.


In 2020, the lawyer and tax coverage knowledgeable sought a seat within the Ohio Home of Representatives. Hawkins, who has an MBA from Columbia, campaigned for a Democratic, Cleveland-area district that overlaps the seat he expects to be operating in for Congress this yr. Hawkins mentioned his defeat by the hands of the black incumbent Democrat had a silver lining: He misplaced by solely 2 share factors and garnered 20% of the black vote.

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With these ends in hand, Hawkins mentioned he’s assured that he can persuade Republican voters in northeast Ohio that he can be a stronger common election candidate than Miller.

“I’m not operating this race in opposition to Max Miller. I’m operating as a result of I’m the best possible candidate to serve the district — one; and two, to win that common election,” Hawkins mentioned. “Once I ran in 2020 and outperformed what any Republican ought to have carried out in that district.”

“I didn’t come hat-in-hand apologizing for being a conservative. I ran hand-in-glove with the Trump marketing campaign,” he added. “I used my platform to advance America first insurance policies and Trump personally. I’ve a document as a crew participant.”

For skilled bona fides, Hawkins factors to his work as Scott’s tax and commerce counsel.

The senator was intimately concerned within the negotiation of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the 1.3 trillion overhaul of the federal tax code enacted by Trump in late 2017, and Hawkins suggested him all through and even helped write parts of the laws having to do with alternative zones (communities designated for particular tax reduction to spur jobs and financial funding).

“Ohio lags the nation in job creation, and Northeast Ohio lags the remainder of Ohio, so I’m particularly positioned to take care of the neighborhood’s largest want,” Hawkins mentioned.

Hawkins’s private story is extra compelling.

His full first identify is Shafron. Hawkins was named for the physician who handled his mom for most cancers whereas she was pregnant with him and, he says, was the explanation why she survived the illness and he was born wholesome. Years later, in 2009, Hawkins was driving from New York to Cleveland when his automotive hit a patch of black ice. He skidded 50 ft off the freeway and hit a tree. Solely the chilly saved him from bleeding to dying.

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Initially paralyzed above and beneath the waist on account of the accident, Hawkins ultimately regained mobility in his higher physique, an final result he credit to the docs and therapists who “didn’t hand over on me.”

“That prompted me to not hand over on myself,” Hawkins mentioned. “This neighborhood has all the time been there for me.”

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