COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A Trump-backed Republican whose military record was called into question during his unsuccessful 2022 congressional campaign has rejoined next year’s race to take on Democratic U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur in northern Ohio.
J.R. Majewski relaunched his latest effort to win the Toledo-area 9th Congressional District last weekend. He had originally joined the 2024 contest in April before dropping out the next month, citing his mother’s health.
He recently told The (Toledo) Blade that her recovery from triple bypass surgery has gone well.
Majewski is among three GOP contenders hoping to defeat Kaptur, 77, the longest-serving woman in Congress, next November.
The 43-year-old Air Force veteran with ties to the nuclear power industry was the surprise winner of last year’s Republican primary, besting two sitting state lawmakers to secure the nomination before losing to Kaptur by over 13 percentage points. He had gained public attention after painting a giant mural in support of former President Donald Trump across his lawn.
Majewski also had been a pro-Trump hip-hop performer and promoter of QAnon, a baseless rightwing conspiracy theory. He also attended the Jan. 6, 2021, rally at the U.S. Capitol, though he was not accused of any wrongdoing in connection with the insurrection.
Last September, the Associated Press reported that Majewski had misrepresented his military record to voters. He described himself as a “combat veteran” of 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 and that his assignment in Qatar included frequently flying shipments to Afghanistan. A subsequent AP report found that he also was demoted in the military for driving drunk on an air base, another contradiction to his previous statements.
This summer, Majewski said he felt vindicated because the Air Force had added to his record a Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, which is awarded to all those who served abroad after 9/11, including in Qatar.
His GOP rivals in the 2024 race are former four-term state Rep. Craig Riedel and Steve Lankenau, a former mayor of Napoleon.