Two of the Republican candidates for Ohio’s 8th Congressional District don’t think outside organizations should influence this race by spending hundreds of thousands of dollars promoting candidates.
The Washington, D.C., nonprofit Right Way Initiative announced this week it would spend $450,000 in support of State Rep. Tim Derickson’s congressional bid. That comes just a week after the Credit Union National Associations’ Legislative Action Council’s spent $200,000 on a media buy in support of Derickson, and a couple weeks after another D.C. organization, Club for Growth, spent more than $450,000 in support of GOP candidate Warren Davidson.
GOP candidates J.D. Winteregg and Scott George, both of Troy, said in separate releases they are tired of outside groups spending money on this race. Winteregg said the contributions make the candidates “beholden” to these organizations while George said the donor groups are “attempting to force their will on the district.”
Winteregg, George, Derickson, Davidson and 11 other Republicans are seeking the party’s nomination for the 8th Congressional District seat formerly held by House Speaker John Boehner until his resignation in October.
“After talking to thousands of voters in the district, I can definitively say this on their behalf: our seat is not for sale,” Winteregg said. “We’re sick of these interest groups deciding what our representatives are going to do.”
He also added, “It’s disturbing to see that other candidates believe that this seat can be bought, and they have welcomed the outside support to accomplish that goal.”
By law, campaigns are not allowed to coordinate or communicate with outside groups who decided to spend money in support of any given candidate.
George said the money being spent on this race by outside groups “is clearly an attempt to buy influence and buy votes. I am proud that my campaign is funded through my personal contributions, and those of family, friends, co-workers and the hard working people across the district.”
Colton Henson, spokesman for the Derickson campaign, said they can’t help if organizations choose to support his candidate. He said the campaign is “more focused” on reaching voters and they have no hand in the decisions made by any organization.
“We can’t coordinate with any of these outside expenditure groups,” Henson said. “We’re focused on putting in Congress a common sense conservative with a record of getting results for his constituents.”
He also said Derickson has more “grassroots contributors” of any candidate and “we’re proud of the individual support across Ohio’s 8th District.”
Davidson spokeswoman Meredith Griffin said her candidate is “thankful” that “leading conservative organizations” have taken an interest in this race and “our common conservative objectives.”
“Please know that the only people who have a say in this election will be the voters who elect their next congressman,” she said. “Our campaign attracted this support because Warren has connected with voters who are frustrated by politics as usual.”
Winteregg, who’s been critical of candidates who have received support from outside groups spending money in this race, said touts that he has the “strongest” grassroots campaign.
“I am beholden to no one but the voter, and it’s time we show these outside groups that they will not make the decisions for us,” he said.
George echoed similar sentiments, adding, “The only way to ensure their voice will be heard is to elect a candidate who is not beholden to outsiders.”
Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.