WEST CHESTER, Ohio -- Despite early speculation to the contrary, Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones is not seeking House Speaker John Boehner’s seat -- for now.
The sheriff released a statement early Friday that states he is not going to run for the West Chester congressman’s position.
Jones said in his statement:
“With the sudden resignation of Speaker of the House John Boehner I was asked by a number of people to run for his seat in Congress. Over the last week I’ve discussed this proposition with many of my trusted friends and family. I’ve been fortunate to receive an enormous amount of support from citizens in and around Butler County. With Congress having an overall approval rating of about 15 percent they could use someone like me who’s willing to speak their mind and stir things up. My passion has always been serving my county and country. I’ve decided that, right now, the best way to do that is to remain Sheriff. Someday my future may take a different path, but I’m extremely proud to be Sheriff of Butler County and I truly appreciate the outpouring of support I’ve received over the years and specifically the last few weeks.”
Federal and state law mandates that Boehner be replaced through a special primary and special election, not by the governor appointing a replacement. His seat will remain vacant from the time he leaves office until a winner is declared in the special election, state officials said.
Jones was one of the leading contenders for the position when news broke that Boehner was stepping down.
Boehner announced last week that he would resign at the end of October. The 13-term Republican faces staunch opposition in his own party.
A constant focus of conservatives' complaints, Boehner was facing the threat of a floor vote on whether he could stay on as speaker, a formal challenge that hasn't happened in over 100 years.
Boehner was first elected to the House in 1990 and soon established a strongly conservative record. He was part of former Speaker Newt Gingrich's leadership team when Republicans took over the House in 1995 for the first time in four decades but was ousted from his leadership role in the wake of the GOP's disappointing performance in the 1998 midterms.
He won a 2006 race to succeed Tom DeLay as the House's No. 2 Republican when DeLay stepped aside as majority leader. He took over as the top Republican in the House in 2007 after Democrats retook the chamber.
WCPO will update this as more information becomes available.