Candidates seeking to replace Boehner discuss abortion, guns

HAMILTON, Ohio (AP) — Voters have heard from the three candidates vying to succeed Republican John Boehner in Congress at a forum on Monday.

Miami University’s event center in downtown Hamilton hosted the candidates ahead of a June 7 special election to complete Boehner’s term. Boehner had held the heavily Republican 8th District seat since being elected in 1990 but vacated it last year, when he stepped down as speaker of the House.

Army veteran and businessman Warren Davidson topped a 15-candidate GOP field that included two state legislators in the March 15 primary. Corey Foister ran unopposed for the Democratic nomination, and Jim Condit Jr. is running under the Green Party banner.

Davidson and Condit spoke out strongly against abortion and new restrictions on gun ownership. Foister said he’s “pro-choice” and more needs to be done to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.

The three also won nominations to compete in November for election to a full term.

Davidson won both March primaries with about 32 percent of the vote to defeat state Rep. Tim Derickson and state Sen. Bill Beagle.

Like much of the Republican field, the Miami County resident ran as a conservative non-politician. However, he got boosts from the backing of GOP Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan and the conservative advocacy groups Club for Growth and FreedomWorks.

The district spans six counties along the Ohio-Indiana border containing northern Cincinnati suburbs, working-class cities and long rural stretches.