HAMILTON, Ohio – A tea party activist announced Tuesday that he is withdrawing his candidacy one week before the Republican primary in House Speaker John Boehner’s district.
Matthew Ashworth stated on his campaign’s Facebook page and over other social media sites that he is backing fellow Butler County businessman Eric Gurr in the May 6 vote.
“I did not get in the race to be a spoiler and split the vote among the candidates, thereby making it easier for Boehner to be re-elected,” Ashworth said in a statement.
High school teacher J.D. Winteregg, of Troy, is also challenging Boehner, who first won the western Ohio 8th District seat in 1990.
Ashworth hadn’t filed federal elections finance reports. He didn’t immediately return a phone message.
Boehner, who overwhelmingly won his last two primary races, has had widespread television and radio advertising running this month in the Republican-dominated district that stretches across six counties. Boehner also lives in Butler County.
Winteregg, of Miami County, has gotten support from the Virginia-based Tea Party Leadership Fund against Boehner.
Butler County elections chief Lynn Kinkaid said Tuesday that Ashworth hasn’t notified his office of the decision. It’s too late to remove him from the ballot, but if he formally lets elections officials know, notices would be posted at polling stations.