Former Colts WR Anthony Gonzalez wins GOP primary for Ohio House seat

Former Indianapolis Colts receiver Anthony Gonzalez is one step closer to becoming a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Gonzalez, a Cleveland native who played at Ohio State before the Colts made him the 32nd pick in the 2011 NFL draft, won Tuesday’s Republican primary for the House seat being vacated by Jim Renacci, in the state’s 16th District.

Renacci is running for U.S. Senate.

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Former Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez
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Former Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez
OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 16: Anthony Gonzalez #11 the Indianapolis Colts scores a touchdown against the Oakland Raiders on December 16, 2007 at McAfee Coliseum in Oakland, California. The Colts won 21-14. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI - AUGUST 31: Anthony Gonzalez #11 of the Indianapolis Colts looks on against the Cincinnati Bengals during a NFL preseason game on August 31, 2007 at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 16: Anthony Gonzalez #11 the Indianapolis Colts grips onto the ball against the Oakland Raiders on December 16, 2007 at McAfee Coliseum in Oakland, California. The Colts won 21-14. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS - JANUARY 13: Anthony Gonzalez #11 of the Indianapolis Colts runs for yards after the catch against the San Diego Chargers during their AFC Divisional Playoff game at the RCA Dome on January 13, 2008 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Chargers won 28-24. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS - 2008: Anthony Gonzalez of the Indianapolis Colts poses for his 2008 NFL headshot at photo day in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Getty Images)
HOUSTON - OCTOBER 05: Wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez #11 of the Indianapolis Colts warms up for the game with the Houston Texans on October 5, 2008 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. The Colts won 31-27. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS - NOVEMBER 02: Anthony Gonzalez #11 of the Indianapolis Colts walks on the field against the New England Patriots at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 2, 2008 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 30, 2008: Wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez #11 of the Indianapolis Colts catches a pass prior to a game with the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, November 30, 2008 at Cleveland Browns Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio. Indianapolis won 10-6. (Photo by: Diamond Images/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - APRIL 29: Tiger Woods talks to Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez who was caddying for Peyton Manning during the Pro-Am for the Quail Hollow Championship at Quail Hollow Golf Club on April 29, 2009 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - APRIL 29: Colts Quarterback Peyton Manning talks to Tiger Woods as Peyton's caddy and teammate Anthony Gonzalez looks on during the Pro-Am for the Quail Hollow Championship at Quail Hollow Golf Club on April 29, 2009 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - CIRCA 2010: In this handout photo provided by the NFL, Anthony Gonzalez of the Indianapolis Colts poses for his 2010 NFL headshot circa 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by NFL via Getty Images)
DETROIT - AUGUST 29: Anthony Gonzalez #11 of the Indianapolis Colts shakes teammates hands during introductions before the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on August 29, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan. The Lions defeated the Colts 18-17. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 01: Anthony Gonzalez of the Indianapolis Colts (L) and Leon Thomas III of Nickelodeon's Victorious attend Kids Day at the Super Bowl at Indiana Convention Center (NFLX) on February 1, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images for Nickelodeon)
ST. LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 13: Anthony Gonzalez #11 of the Indianapolis Colts looks on against the St. Louis Rams during an NFL preseason game at Edward Jones Dome on August 13, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Rams defeated the Colts 33-10. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
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Cleveland.com reports that Gonzalez got a boost thanks to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which bought $300,000 worth of ads in support of the 33-year-old. He beat out Christina Hagan, currently a state senator, and Dr. Michael Grusenmeyer in the GOP primary.

Gonzalez will face local health care professional Susan Moran Palmer, who won the Democratic primary, in November’s election.

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In a statement posted to Twitter, Gonzalez wrote in part, “The phrase ‘all politics is local’ is often overused, but truly describes the strategy we employed to push us towards tonight’s result. While our national political discourse continues to be dominated by vitriol and division, Northeast Ohio continues to be defined by passion and pride, but also civility, hard work, and a commitment to results.”

Though he was a first-round draft pick, Gonzalez didn’t pan out: he played just 40 games over five seasons with the Colts, often sidelined by injuries. He finished his career with 99 catches for 1,307 yards and seven touchdowns.

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