HAMILTON, Ohio -- About 200 voters in western Ohio heard from the big Republican field of 8th District congressional candidates in a Monday evening forum.
Miami University Regionals in Hamilton hosted the gathering at Parrish Auditorium.
All 15 Republicans competing to succeed former House Speaker John Boehner were invited, though one, Matthew Ashworth, didn't attend.
"Voters are interested in specific plans-- what are you planning on doing when you go to Washington?" said forum moderator John Forren, a government professor at Miami University Regionals. "This district has been represented by the same person for 25 years, so this represents a major change for 8th District."
Among the questions during Monday's night's forum, each candidate was asked:
- how they would be different than Boehner; and
- what the federal government should do about gun violence, in light of the events at Madison Jr./Sr. High School
Watch all of their answers in the media player above.
The candidates are running in unusual dual March 15 primary races to nominate for a June 7 special election to complete Boehner's term and for the general election for a seat in the next Congress. Because the district is heavily conservative, whoever wins the GOP primary is likely to win the special election and general election.
The race has attracted people of varied backgrounds, most taking hard lines on national security, immigration and against the Washington establishment.
"It was a good opportunity to get beyond what you hear in 30-second ads, which tend to be negative, tend to be kind of nasty," Forren said. "This was a very positive discussion of policy."
Boehner resigned last year after first winning the seat in 1990. One Democrat and one Green Party candidate are also running in the largely rural six-county district. Monday night's forum was co-sponsored by WCPO media partners the Journal-News and WHIO, as well as Miami University.