Ohio Voters Choose House Freedom Caucus Candidate To Replace John Boehner

The influential group of conservative lawmakers made the former House Speaker's life miserable in Congress.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) retired last year, setting off a crowded race for his seat. 
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) retired last year, setting off a crowded race for his seat. 

First, the House Freedom Caucus got rid of John Boehner. Now, it's on track to replace him with one of its own.

On Tuesday, businessman and former Army Ranger Warren Davidson won the GOP primary in Ohio's 8th district, which Boehner represented for nearly 25 years. Fifteen Republicans were vying for the chance to succeed the former House speaker, who announced his retirement late last year. 

It was a heavily symbolic victory for the House Freedom Caucus -- the influential group of conservative lawmakers that made Boehner's life miserable and contributed to his resignation from Congress -- whose super PAC threw financial support behind Davidson.

"This is the first open seat up this cycle, so we’re doing everything we can to win," Caucus Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) told The National Review last week. "The first one is always important. It just happens to be the former speaker's seat."

Jordan added that there's a strong chance Davidson will join the caucus if elected, which he's expected to be in the heavily Republican district. 

Davidson also had the backing of the Club for Growth, whose super PAC threw in more than $1 million to help him.

"With a strong message of economic freedom, Davidson came out ahead of a field of 15 candidates, including some career politicians," Club for Growth President David McIntosh said. "The Club's PAC is especially thrilled that Warren Davidson will enter the fight for economic liberty almost immediately."

Senate Conservatives Fund President Ken Cuccinelli said Tuesday night he was confident Davidson "will fight to balance the budget, fully repeal Obamacare, and stand up to the liberals in both parties."

Davidson wasn't the only candidate running against the establishment, i.e., Boehner and his legacy. 

"Talk to even a few candidates, and you get a sense that their stances are variations on the same theme: Less government interference and less regulation, lower taxes, strong national security and gun rights," The Columbus Dispatch wrote in February.

Davidson now moves on to a June 7 special election to fill out the remainder of Boehner's term. The winner would need to run for re-election in November to serve beyond that time.



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