A Democratic candidate’s decision to withdraw from the 8th Congressional District race could trigger a special election that would cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Corey Foister withdrew this week from the race to represent all of Butler, Clark, Darke, Miami and Preble counties and the southernmost portion of Mercer County. He was seeking the same seat that was held for 25 years by former House Speaker John Boehner, R-West Chester Twp.
The June 7 special election for the seat featured a sub-6 percent voter turnout that cost the state more than $500,000.
Foister lost that special election to U.S. Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Troy, who won decisively and is the Republican candidate again in November for the full term.
Butler County Board of Election officials say that federal law requires a special election to replace the now-former Democratic candidate on the November ballot.
When that special election might be is one of several questions election officials have. Other questions include what if no one files, and will an election be needed if just one person files.
Foister is dropping from the race because he’s “been offered an opportunity out-of-state that I can’t pass up,”
“I feel it is a more effective platform to fight for progressive causes than the one I had here,” Foister said.
Butler County Democratic Party Executive Chair Jocelyn Bucaro declined to comment when asked if she’s been approached or is aware of a possible candidates.
More than half of the cost of the June 7 special election was in Butler County, which makes up roughly half of the voters, and population, in the district. According to the Butler County Board of Elections, that special election cost roughly $273,000, which ultimately is paid for by the state via reimbursement.
Ohio Secretary of State spokesman Joshua Eck said $506,144.81 has been submitted for reimbursement by the boards of elections in the district’s six counties.
Davidson received 76.8 percent of the 28,236 votes cast in the election, which had a 5.99 percent voter turnout. It was a 4.9 percent turnout in Butler County.
“Congressman Davidson wishes Corey well in his future endeavors,” according to a statement from the Davidson campaign. “(Davidson) remains focused on the work that lies ahead, and will continue to travel the district talking to voters about the issues they care about.”
Foister wouldn’t say yet where he will be headed, but said, “This is the end of politics for me just in Ohio.” He did however, tweet out news about his withdraw indicating he’s headed to the East Coast.
Bucaro said the Butler County Democratic Party wished Foister the best.
“The party believes Corey made the right decision and wish him well in his future endeavors,” said Bucaro. “At this time, we are exploring our options and gauging potential interest in this race so voters might have a real choice in having someone who actually represents Butler County in this race.”
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