The Middletown steelworker who wanted to dethrone U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner from his 8th Congressional District seat has decided against it because of conflicting interests.
Middletown native Andy Hounshell, 37, announced on his campaign website Sunday afternoon he is withdrawing from the race just two months after he announced his candidacy.
The time needed to run the campaign and the time he needed to give his family were beginning to compete, he said.
“As things started picking up and I had to invest more and more time, I just kept getting a stronger feeling that I was going to be a disservice for my family,” said Hounshell, who works at AK Steel and is the IAM Local 1943 vice president. “I needed to be there for them more than I was — and we hadn’t even started full-time fund-raising and campaigning.”
Hounshell made the announcement to his supporters via his campaign website, Facebook page and Twitter account. For the full posting, visit AndrewHounshell.com.
Hounshell, who introduced President Barack Obama in September 2012 during a campaign stop in Cincinnati, regrets any disappointment his decision would bring to his supporters.
“The last person that ran (in 2010), they raised $250,000 and they got 30 percent of the vote,” he said. “I want to be able to dedicate the time at 100 percent. Either my family or the campaign was going to lose out, and I didn’t want to do that to either one of them.”
In April, Hounshell told The Middletown Journal that he believes people are disenfranchised with the former Union Twp. trustee (which is now West Chester Twp.) to a point they want to see change.
However, Boehner’s closest race since he was first elected to the U.S. House seat in 1990 was a 20-point margin in 1990.
Hounshell told The Journal in April he felt the race was “winnable” because of the support against Issue 2, the issue that would have imposed collective bargaining reforms for public unions.
He also said that nearly 100,000 people “took a pass” when voting for this race in 2012 when Boehner ran unopposed.
The father of 3-year-old triplets said he entered the race because of his children and wrote Sunday, “I owe it to them to make sure that I get it right.”
Boehner’s office declined to comment.
Hounshell announced his candidacy to run at an April 5 fundraiser at Forest Hills Country Club. Second quarter federal campaign finance reports for any activity or money that is raised and/or spent of at least $5,000 must be filed with the Federal Elections Commission by July 15.
Hounshell, a political newcomer, has not ruled out a run for a political office in the future.
“It’s just not in the cards right now,” he said. “It may be when (his triplets) get older and I’m able to dedicate the time to either (the 8th Congressional District) office or another office. I don’t want to never say never.”
Butler County Democratic Central Committee chair Kathy Wyenandt said Hounshell “made the best choice” for himself and his family, even though there are some who are disappointed he is not running.
“Andy is a great guy and everyone who has met him likes him and believes in him. It sure takes a lot out of a person to give a race, specifically of that magnitude, the time that it deserves,” she said.
Wyenandt wouldn’t comment if there is another person the party will put up against Boehner.