The Tea Party Leadership Fund, a Tea Party-aligned Political Action Committee (PAC), on Wednesday will endorse J.D. Winteregg for Congress in Ohio’s eighth congressional district–a seat currently held by House Speaker John Boehner.
“We’ve undertaken a long, deliberative process in deciding who to throw our weight behind to unify conservatives behind an alternative to John Boehner,” radio’s Rusty Humphries, the spokesman for the Tea Party Leadership Fund’s “Primary Boehner” campaign, said in a statement provided to Breitbart News ahead of its public release. “It was a tough decision with two great candidates, but in the end, there’s one man left standing, and that’s high school teacher J.D. Winteregg, who is a credible challenger to the Speaker of the House.”
“As John Boehner has risen to the heights of power over 25 years in Washington, he has forgotten his roots, his promises and the people of the 8th district of Ohio,” Humphries added. “We will never give a free pass to politicians who ignore the will of the people, their district and his own party by betraying their commitments to control spending, protect our borders, all while cutting benefits of our military veterans while fighting to preserve benefits for members of congress and their staffs.”
A political newcomer, Winteregg is a local high school teacher who moonlights as an adjunct professor at a university near his home in Troy, Ohio.
The Tea Party Leadership Fund announced a little over a month ago that it would spend $25,000 in an ad campaign and candidate vetting process looking for a candidate to back against Boehner in the May 6 primary in Ohio. They also launched a petition drive at PrimaryBoehner.com.
Now, on Wednesday, the group is endorsing Winteregg. Reached by email, Humphries admits this is not an easy challenge, saying it will “definitely be an uphill battle,” adding that because “Boehner is not very popular at this time,” it makes it a bit easier.
Realistically, politically, Winteregg may put up a fight but it’s unheard of for a sitting Speaker of the House to go down in a primary challenge. That said, rumors continue floating around Washington that if Boehner wins his re-election campaign, he may step down from the Speakership and Congress immediately afterwards.
Boehner’s recent purchase of a Florida condo has kicked retirement rumors into high gear, despite Boehner’s spokesman Michael Steel downplaying the development. “This area of Florida has been the Boehners’ family vacation spot for many years, and rather than continue to put money into vacation rentals year after year, they decided to buy a condo,” Steel said when the news broke. “Their home is in West Chester, Ohio, and will continue to be.”
If Boehner does retire after winning re-election, but Winteregg or somebody else in the district runs a formidable campaign against him, it could open a future possibility for that up-and-comer to slip into Boehner’s seat.
“He’s young, he’s hungry,” Humphries said of Winteregg, adding that “he reminds me a lot of the young man elected in 1990 with similar policies and values.”
“Unfortunately that man, John Boehner, has lost his way,” Humphries said. “J.D. Winteregg is someone who truly is the next generation of leadership for our nation.”