John Boehner, David Joyce Clobber Tea Party Challengers (Updated)
Updated 10:32 p.m. | Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio beat three GOP primary opponents on Tuesday to win the Republican nomination in the district he has represented for 12 terms.
Boehner defeated teacher J.D. Winteregg, his most formidable primary opponent in the 8th District race, 74 percent to 15 percent, with just early votes reporting, according to The Associated Press.
Computer consultant Eric Gurr and tea party activist Matthew Ashworth, the two other Republicans in the primary, received 7 percent and 4 percent, respectively.
This year’s 8th District GOP primary marked the most spirited challenge Boehner has faced in years, according to Republican operatives in Ohio.
Winteregg raised just $48,000 for the entire contest — a paltry sum compared to the nearly $13 million Boehner has brought in this cycle. But Winteregg released a campaign ad that went viral, a tongue-in-cheek spot that took shots at Boehner’s leadership.
Similarly, the Tea Party Leadership Fund, an outside group that supports tea-party-aligned candidates, spent more than $350,000 in the contest to attack Boehner and boost Winteregg, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission .
The money, however, was not enough to defeat Boehner on Tuesday.
Boehner’s primary win is tantamount to re-election in this southwestern Ohio district. GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney won here in 2012 with 62 percent.
Ohio’s 8th District is rated a Safe Republican contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.
Ohio’s 14th District In the 14th District, the most competitive district in Ohio, freshman GOP Rep. David Joyce also defeated a tea-party-backed primary opponent .
Joyce defeated state Rep. Matt Lynch 55 percent to 45 percent, with 75 percent of precincts reporting, according to the AP.
Republicans said Lynch never posed a serious threat to Joyce’s political future. Joyce had nearly $1.1 million in the bank as of March 31, compared to Lynch’s meager $25,000 war chest.
Joyce now moves on to face Democratic nominee Michael Wager, the former chairman of the Cuyahoga County Port Authority.
Ohio’s 14th District is rated a Leans Republican contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.