Posted: 4:50 p.m. Monday, May 5, 2014


Boehner visits Fairfield the day before Election Day

Local opponent

By Michael D. Pitman

Staff Writer


Candidates vying to win the Republican nomination for Ohio’s 8th Congressional District seat in Tuesday’s primary election made last minute pushes Monday to reach voters.

Incumbent and U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner spent Monday morning touring a Fairfield manufacturer that had a hand in Olympic history.

Meanwhile, one of his challengers, Eric Gurr of Liberty Township, spent the day making phone calls, conducting interviews and planning his Election Day ground game. Neither J.D. Winteregg, the other challenger and a resident of Troy, nor anyone from his campaign could be reached for comment Monday.

Gurr and Winteregg, two tea party-supported candidates, are trying to make history today by upsetting Boehner, a 12-term congressman who has receive at least 80 percent of the vote in every primary for the 8th Ohio Congressional District since 1992.

Gurr said he plans to campaign Tuesday at a handful of polling locations, and members of his campaign team and supporters plan to target about a dozen or more polling locations within the district.

“It’s actually kind of calming,” Gurr said about the day before Election Day. “I’ve never done this before, and you put so much time and effort into it. The last couple of days you kind of resign yourself, asking if you did the best you can. I just don’t want to do anything that would reflect poorly on myself or my family.”

Boehner toured Machintek Corp., a 25-year-old machining, welding and fabrication manufacturer that built parts of some of the bobsleds that raced in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia — including two bronze medal-winning sleds, the men’s skeleton and two-man men’s bobsled.

The West Chester Twp. Republican met with company leaders for about a 20-minute meeting, then toured the 40,000-square-foot Port Union Road facility that employs more than 50 workers. After the tour, Boehner spoke with some of the employees, though he skipped over many of his usual talking points, such as on the Affordable Care Act, job creation and difficulties working with President Barack Obama and the Senate Democrats.

“Part of our job is to be in Washington and represent the companies and the people that live in our district,” Boehner told the employees. “The other part of our job is go out in our district and talk with people about the issues they’re dealing with in terms of the federal government’s impact.”

Boehner told the Machintek employees that his attitude today is the same as when he first was elected to congress in 1990: government is too big, it spends too much and is not being held accountable.

“I fight every day for a smaller, less costly and more accountable federal government,” he said. “It’s as simple as that. I’m a regular guy with a big job.”

Machintek president Roger Hasler said his team had been working for a couple of weeks to have Boehner tour the company and talk with company leaders. He said they were able to land the meeting with Boehner thanks in part to the company’s contacts with the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation.

Hasler said they were about to discuss with Boehner what the company does, governmental policy (i.e. Obamacare) and “employment for manufacturing and how tough that it is to find qualified people.” He said Boehner did talk about the SKILLS Act, which addresses job training in the U.S. and was passed by the House in March 2013. That particular issue has not yet been taken up by the Senate.

“We’re seeing a ‘skills gap’ in this country that’s preventing our workers from getting the skills they need for the 21st century jobs they want,” Boehner said after his tour. “Right now, if you want to acquire new skills to qualify for a good job, you’re up against a job-training system that is a maze of overlapping programs and waste. I heard more about this today during my tour of Machintek.”


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