Eric Gurr has dropped out of the race for the 8th Congressional District seat and says he will endorse one of the two remaining Butler County candidates.
The Butler County businessman said that he’s dropping out of the race because it’s “becoming a circus surrounding a small internecine squabble within the Butler County Republican Party.
“This is silly and actually sad,” Gurr said in a press release.
He said one candidate has taken it upon himself to make this issue the primary focus of his campaign, referencing the dispute by candidate J.D. Winteregg, of Troy.
Winteregg claimed the Butler County GOP is attempting to get the party to endorse Butler County Auditor Roger Reynolds. But Gurr said the county party’s executive committee and official members “will work to support the candidate they feel best represents the 8th District” and they will “vote for who they think is best.”
“I was never an official member of the Butler County Republican Party, yet I was always treated with respect and kindness,” Gurr said in a press release. “The folks who work in the local Republican Party sacrifice greatly for all of us. They meet to strategize, they volunteer and they donate time and money. They are the real fabric of our democracy.”
The congressional district became an open seat after John Boehner stepped down as House speaker and resigned his congressional seat at the end of October. Since he announced his resignation in September, a host of people have considered running for the open seat.
Gurr is the first person to officially withdrawal from the race that has around 20 people seeking the office, with the lion’s share of declared candidates being from the Republican Party.
Two elections will be needed to fill the absence in Congress. A special election is needed to fill the seat and serve the remainder of the current term. The seat is up for election in 2016 for the next two-year term that begins in January 2017.
Gurr had been certified as a candidate for the full-term, but had not yet filed petitions for the special election.
“There are far too many of us running for Congress in the 8th District,” Gurr said. “We need to come together for the good of the district and the good of the nation. The politics of personal destruction must come to an end.”
Gurr said he’ll be endorsing Butler County Auditor Roger Reynolds because he “is a principled conservative” and “a man of profound character.”
While Gurr is dropping from this race, he said he will consider running for a statewide office.
“I have raised my family and run a business for 20 years,” he said. “I’ve complained about the government and career politicians for most of my life. I believe that I can be just as effective serving the people of Butler County from Columbus as I could have in Washington D.C.”