Rep. Steve Austria is the other Ohio Republican who serves on Appropriations. Ironically, his seat was eliminated by redistricting, and Austria, who was a protégé of Hobson, decided not to seek re-election.
Although his district has been based in central Ohio, it would have been possible for the Republican-controlled Legislature to redraw the map in a way that would have saved Austria’s seat and eliminated LaTourette’s swing district in the northeast corner.
The news of LaTourette’s decision to not seek re-election was first reported by the Columbus Dispatch.
LaTourette is expected to make his retirement announcement 10 a.m. Tuesday at a press conference at his district office in Painsville. A GOP source said the Congressman will have the option to not submit his official letter of retirement to Ohio’s governor until after Aug. 8. That would avoid having another primary and allow the GOP replacement nominee to be chosen by a group of party officials from each county in the district.
LaTourette’s reconfigured 14th district leans slightly Republican, and the seat could be in play this fall depending on the strength of the candidate who replaces him on the ballot. Ohio’s primary was in March, and therefore, party nominees have already been set. The Democratic nominee in the district is Dale Blanchard, who does not appear to have filed with the Federal Election Commission. Joshua Miller, Daniel Newhauser and Jonathan Strong contributed to this report.