Only 1 candidate in Ohio special primary mandated by law

WEST CHESTER, Ohio (AP) — Democrats in former House Speaker John Boehner’s Ohio district can cast their votes for the party’s nominee to oppose his Republican successor, but the result is a foregone conclusion.

Former congressional staffer Steve Fought is running unopposed in Tuesday’s special primary, but elections officials in the district’s six counties were required by law to hold a vote. Republican Warren Davidson won a June 7 special election to complete Boehner’s term in a landslide over Democrat Corey Foister, and Foister in July abruptly withdrew from the November ballot.

Butler County elections director Diane Noonan said nearly 200 early voting ballots presumably have already clinched Fought’s nomination, but elections officials will follow the usual procedures and release the results after the polls close at 7:30 p.m. EDT.

Noonan expects a very light turnout in the GOP-dominated district, which Boehner represented for nearly 25 years until resigning last year.

She predicts that some of the hundreds of poll workers will see no voters at all Tuesday at their polling places. The special primary is costing the counties some $500,000 total.

“This is just ridiculous,” Noonan said.

She and other elections officials are hoping state legislators will change Ohio law to avoid a repeat of such one-candidate special primary elections.

Fought, is a former communications director and legislative director for U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur, a Toledo Democrat. Davidson, a businessman and former Army Ranger, took office in Washington soon after the June special election.

He and Foister won dual March primaries for the special election and November general election.


Follow Dan Sewell at

For some of his other recent stories: