The journey to Washington, D.C., began Wednesday for Butler County Auditor Roger Reynolds when he officially announced his candidacy to succeed Speaker of the House John Boehner in Congress.
Reynolds is now the fourth person to declare candidacy for the 8th Congressional District seat, which will become vacant after Oct. 30 when Boehner resigns, ending his 25-year congressional career.
Reynolds, who served as Liberty Twp. fiscal officer for five years before being elected county auditor in 2008, said “Washington is broke” and he has the skill set to fix it.
“Over the past seven years we’ve had some real success in Butler County and the auditor’s office … and above all else we’ve built back public trust,” said the 46-year-old Reynolds. “People don’t have the same feelings about Washington, D.C.”
With Wednesday’s announcement, Reynolds, of Liberty Twp., is the first Butler County candidate to enter the race.
The 8th District incorporates all of Butler, Clark, Darke, Miami and Preble counties, and the southernmost portion of Mercer County.
More than half of the estimated 723,000 residents in the 8th District live in Butler County. And since redistricting following the 1970 Census, all of the district’s congressmen have been from Butler County.
Beagle has been endorsed by U.S. Rep. Mike Turner (R-Dayton). The tea party-backed Winteregg lost to Boehner in the 2014 GOP primary.
Reynolds’ first endorsement came from Butler County Prosecutor Mike Gmoser, who introduced the auditor Wednesday to the crowd of 100-plus supporters.
“The question is going to be, ‘Who is going to be best to serve our interests in Washington?’ God help up us it’s not going to be another lawyer,” Gmoser said. “We need somebody who understands business finance, the economy, that understands how to crunch numbers. And that’s not always a lawyer.”
As a certified public accountant, Reynolds said he can take his financial acumen to Congress to help redirect the country because “without financial security we’re never going to have national security. It goes hand-in-hand.”
Butler County Democratic Party Executive Chairwoman Jocelyn Bucaro said the party “welcomes” Reynolds to the race, and “We look forward to a healthy exchange of ideas.”
“Democrats are fighting to ensure everyone in the 8th District and across the state has access to a good-paying job, quality education and health care, and we look forward to a debate over the issues that matter most to voters with whomever emerges from the Republican primary in this contest,” she said.
No Democrat has emerged yet as a possible candidate to run in a special election to replace Boehner as the district’s congressional representative. Fairfield resident Dennis M. Smith is the only Democrat to pull petitions for the full-term race in November 2016.
Dates for the special primary and general elections for the soon-to-be-vacated congressional seat have yet to be set.