WEST CHESTER, Ohio (AP) — Republican Warren Davidson is assured of being western Ohio’s congressman for the next seven months, and is likely to be serving for years after that.
Davidson handily won Tuesday’s special election to succeed former House Speaker John Boehner in the 8th House District. Speaker Paul Ryan is preparing to swear him later this week in Washington.
Davidson had 77 percent of the vote with 94 percent of precincts reporting from the six western Ohio counties, according to unofficial returns. It is Davidson’s first election to office, after the Army Ranger veteran topped a 15-candidate primary field in the heavily Republican district Boehner first won in 1990. Davidson, 46, won dual races for the special election and general election nominations.
Democrat Corey Foister had 21 percent, and Green Party candidate Jim Condit Jr. had about 2 percent after a day of light voter turnout.
“I view serving the Congress as a return to active duty,” Davidson, a businessman and married father of two, said in a statement. “The real work starts now.”
Davidson will complete Boehner’s term and be an odds-on favorite to win the general election for a full term in the next Congress. Ohio’s districts are incumbent-friendly.
“Welcome Warren, we look forward to working with you to get our country back on track,” Ryan, R-Wisconsin, said in his message to Davidson, whose district includes Ryan’s alma mater, Miami University.
Boehner also sent a message of congratulations, saying he knows Davidson will “serve honorably” in Congress, as he did in the Army.
Davidson got key support in March from some former Boehner antagonists, such as Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio and the conservative advocacy groups Club for Growth and FreedomWorks. Davidson has said people in the district considered it “an honor” to have the speaker from their home area, but that they are ready to have “our own representative” in Washington.
A FreedomWorks statement said the 8th District “will finally have a principled conservative representing them.”
Boehner defeated a scandal-marred Republican incumbent in the 1990 primary, and then won re-election, often with wide margins, every two years since his first election.
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