Life (and politics) can sometimes be poetic. Such is the case for the now retired former House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), who just watched a Tea Party conservative win the GOP primary for his old seat in Congress.
While the nation watched as the GOP presidential candidates all vied for support in Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, Illinois, and Missouri, most missed the drama playing out in Ohio’s 8th district. Boehner, who retired back in October, chose not to endorse any of the candidates in a crowded field of perspective replacements, but one has to imagine that he could not have been pleased with who his district chose to replace him with.
Businessman Warren Davidson was one of the most conservative candidates in the race, a self-proclaimed anti-establishment, Tea Party conservative. Davidson was endorsed, funded, and cheered on by the very same forces who worked so diligently to unmask and unseat Boehner over the last couple of years. While Boehner was technically neutral in the primary contest and even offered his support of Davidson in the aftermath, the results must have stung.
For his part, Boehner did express solidarity with the candidate, the party, and the people of Ohio’s 8th district after the results came in.
“I was privileged and blessed to represent the people of the 8th District in the U.S. House for nearly a quarter-century. My friends, neighbors and former constituents have chosen someone to be on the ballot in June and November who can be counted on to continue the fight for a smaller, less costly, more accountable federal government,” Boehner said Tuesday night. A spokesman for Boehner added that Davidson’s nomination wasn’t a rejection of Boehner’s legacy, “Mr. Davidson won not by trashing John Boehner or the Boehner legacy, but by articulating positive conservative solutions to the challenges facing our country. Speaker Boehner appreciates that, and congratulates him on the win,” David Schnittiger said.
Even so, conservatives across the nation are jubilant that the party would soon be replacing Boehner and his perceived “squishiness” with an outspoken and unapologetic conservative. FreedomWorks PAC chairman Adam Brandon expressed it this way, “What a win for the grassroots that the newest member of the House Freedom Caucus comes from John Boehner’s old seat!”
We bear no ill will for former Speaker Boehner, but we can’t help but feel some of the excitement that Brandon expresses with this Davidson win. If the conservatives grassroots can continue to incrementally nominate and elect conservative candidates to seats once held by moderates, we can make a real difference. Let’s hope we see more conservatives winning their primary battles as November approaches.