Just days after his landslide victory in the race to replace former Speaker John Boehner in Congress, Warren Davidson could cast his first votes in the U.S. House as early as this week.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is expected to swear in his predecessor’s congressional replacement Thursday afternoon, just two days after the 46-year-old Miami County businessman handily won a special election for Boehner’s unexpired 8th Congressional District seat.
Details are still being worked out, but a ceremonial swearing in is set to happen prior to the official ceremony on the House floor.
Davidson’s victory was huge — replacing a former speaker who had represented the district for 25 years — despite having a minuscule voter turnout.
On Wednesday morning, Davidson told AM 1290/News 95.7 WHIO that “the work is really just beginning.”
“People were looking for a different outcome in Washington, D.C., they were looking for a different result from there, and I was able to offer a different type of experience — a lot of experience but not a lot of it political.”
Pending the official run of the special election, the Ohio Secretary of State’s office reports that less than 6 percent of the 8th Congressional District’s 471,273 registered voters — which translates to 28,110 voters — turned out to decide that the former Army Ranger should be in Congress to represent all of Butler, Clark, Darke, Miami, Preble and part of Mercer counties.
Tuesday’s result was “hardly a surprise” considering that the 8th District is one of the more Republican congressional districts in the state, said Miami University Hamilton political science professor John Forren.
“What we ended up with is an election that featured historically low rates of voter turnout in some parts of the 8th District, but in the end the built-in Republican advantage in the 8th District seemed to carry the day,” he said.
And in the district’s largest county, Butler, Forren said more than 95 percent of registered voters “just sat this one out.” While Butler County’s turnout was at 4.88 percent, other counties in the district saw turnout that exceeded 7 percent.
A total of 532 outstanding absentee ballots have yet to be returned and 110 provisional ballots still need to be counted, according to elections officials.
Davidson’s strong victory over Democrat opponent Corey Foister and Green Party candidate Jim Condit Jr. was also not a surprise to Cedarville University political science professor Mark C. Smith, especially since there were 100,000 more Republican votes cast in the March primary than Democratic Party votes.
“That suggests Davidson should be strong,” he said.
Davidson earned 76.8 percent of the vote districtwide, while Foister received 21.1 percent and Condit Jr. received 2.2 percent.
Absentee ballots can be counted in the official run as long as they were post-marked by June 6 and are received within 10 days of that date. The provisional ballots will be counted with the official run, which can take place up to 11 days after the election.
Butler County GOP Executive Chairman Todd Hall said the district “should feel very confident” with Davidson in office.
“Warren has spent a great deal of time in Butler County and all over our district listening to constituents and preparing to represent us on Capitol Hill,” he said. “I know that Warren will more than prove himself as a true leader, and a protector of hard earned taxpayer dollars.”
Barring any independent candidates who file, only Foister is set to face Davidson in November — Condit, Jr. made himself ineligible by pulling a Republican ballot in the March primary — but Davidson will have the advantage of being the incumbent.
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