For schoolteacher J.D. Winteregg, his campaign to defeat John Boehner in the Ohio eighth district Republican primary in little more than six weeks is nothing short of a “chance to make history.”
While some conservative House Republicans tried unsuccessfully to unseat Boehner as speaker after the 2012 election, Winteregg, 32, is quietly sitting on one of the best opportunities to change the national GOP. The high school and college French teacher needs between 40,000 and 50,000 votes in the May 6 Ohio eighth district congressional primary, which is expected to draw about 85,000 Republican voters, to bump the Speaker out of his own re-election race six months before the 2014 midterms.
“I was eight years old when he was first elected to office in the House. [For a while] he sounded like me. The more power he got, the less conservative he got – to the point where now he’s just conceding every point to the president and it’s embarrassing,” Winteregg told The Daily Caller.
“He hardly votes so we’ve basically lost our vote in Congress,” said Winteregg, who is reaching across the aisle in his own district for support. “To Democrats I say, ‘Don’t you want to get rid of the most powerful Republican?’”
Despite Boehner’s claim in a Cincinnati Enquirer article that re-election for him is a lock, a recent poll conducted by a tea party PAC endorsing Winteregg found that Boehner has 51 percent support in his own district, but only 25 percent support when paired against any no-name challenger.
“People are fed up with the establishment. The one thing consistent with bad policy coming out of D.C. is the people creating the bad policy. The most common thing I hear going door to door is throw the bums out. That’s the national sentiment. Hold them accountable directly to us,” Winteregg said. “[Boehner's district campaign] slogan is, ‘One of Us.’ We get these little booklets now talking about how he’s one of us. If you have to try that hard to convince people, maybe you’re not one of us.”
“The Republican Party right now acts like a union. You go in as a youngster, you spend enough time there you eventually become a leader. If you say anything bad about the party you’re a scab. That’s a union. For the rest of us Republicans, that’s the culture we despise.”