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Campaign roundup: Ackison invites opponents to home for gun demo

Republican candidate Melissa Ackison has invited her opponents in the U.S. Senate race to her home for a demonstration on firearms.

Ackison, a Marysville businesswoman who faces Cleveland investment banker Mike Gibbons and U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci for her party’s nomination to challenge incumbent Democrat Sherrod Brown, touted her position on guns and the fact that she has a concealed carry permit.

“Gone are the days of posing in gun stores and frantically organizing photo ops with guns you don’t personally own,” Ackison said in campaign video. “For a limited time only, I’m inviting all of you to my house for a REAL demo — using my personal collection.”

GUN CONTROL GROUP BACKS SCHIAVONI: On the other side of the gun debate, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Joe Schiavoni picked up the backing of a prominent gun control group on Monday.

Moms Demand Action named Schiavoni, who current serves in the state Senate, as a “Gun Sense Candidate” distinction.

Moms Demand is a nonpartisan, grassroots movement founded in 2012 after 20 children and six adults were shot to death in a Newtown, Connecticut school.

“Most Ohioans understand that you can support the Second Amendment while also taking basic measures to keep our kids alive. It’s way past time for state leaders to act,” Schiavoni said. “I’ve got a real plan that will help prevent these tragedies. Every life saved is worth the fight.”

Schiavoni has pledged not to accept any money from the National Rifle Association.

POLL SHOWS GOP VOTERS UNDECIDED: A new survey from Republican-leaning Gravis Marketing shows the race for the party’s U.S. Senate nomination appears wide open.

The survey, taken in February, puts Renacci, who has been backed by the state Republican Party and president Donald Trump, in the lead at 16.5 percent. Renacci dropped his campaign for governor and entered the Senate race after the frontrunner, Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, dropped out due to health issues facing his wife.

Ackison came in second place at 6.7 percent, while Gibbons had 5.7 percent. 71.1 percent of voters said they were undecided.

GIBBONS CHALLENGES RENACCI: Gibbons has challenged Renacci to a series of debates leading into the May 8 primary in the U.S. Senate race.

“I’m a conservative outsider who’s unafraid to debate a professional politician,” Gibbons said in a statement. “When voters hear the philosophical differences between Congressman Renacci and me, they overwhelmingly want to support our campaign.”

Renacci’s campaign said he would not accept the challenge, choosing to focus instead on Brown as an opponent for November.