Local News
12:11 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Boehner challenger drops out of GOP primary race

House Speaker John Boehner has one less challenger in the May 6 GOP primary for his 8th Ohio Congressional District.

Matthew Ashworth, a tea party activist and business owner from Liberty Township, said on his campaign website that he was getting out of the race, and throwing his support to another challenger, Eric Gurr, also a business owner from Liberty Township.

That leaves Gurr and J.D. Winteregg, a high school French teacher from Troy, as the two Republicans challenging Boehner, who has held the seat since 1991.

“I did not get in the race to be a spoiler and split the vote among the candidates thereby making it easier for Boehner to be re-elected,’’ Ashworth wrote on his campaign website.

As of mid-day today, Ashworth had not submitted a formal letter of withdrawal to the Butler County Board of Elections. But Jocelyn Bucaro, deputy director of the board, said she expected a letter from Ashworth today.

It is too late to remove Ashworth’s name from the ballot, but votes cast for him will not be counted, Bucaro said.

Bucaro said that once Ashworth’s formal withdrawal is received, the boards of elections in the 8th District will insert notices in absentees ballots saying votes for Ashworth will not be counted. Notices will be placed in all polling places on election day.

A national group called the Tea Party Leadership Fund, which has been backing Winteregg, has spent several hundred thousand dollars on ads attacking Boehner.

That has prompted Boehner to do something he rarely does – mount his own TV ad campaign in the Cincinnati and Dayton markets.

Boehner has had primary challenges in the past; and has consistently won with over 80 per cent of the vote.