I post this not only because of his disgust for the inability of congress to find common ground to help Americans, but because he is my congressman and was always very approachable out in public and always always put what was best for the people in his district first. He would team with Dennis Kucinich on bills to help the people in northeast ohio and didn't give a shit about party affiliation if he could do something for his constituents. If I didn't know him from speaking personally with him so many times I may not have this glowing review of a US Congressman, but the people in this district don't realize what they are going to be missing.
Congressman Steven LaTourette announces he won't seek re-election (with videos)
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
By John Arthur Hutchison
U.S. Rep. Steven C. LaTourette announced Tuesday that he will not seek re-election in November.
LaTourette, R-Bainbridge Township, made his decision public during a news conference outside his Painesville office.
A former Lake County prosecutor, the congressman has served in the U.S. House of Representatives since he first won election in Nov. 1994.
LaTourette was again the Republican Party’s nominee after he won the March 6 primary for Ohio’s 14th Congressional District, which includes Lake, Geauga, Ashtabula and parts of Cuyahoga, Portage, Summit and Trumbull counties.
Calling it a bittersweet day, LaTourette said Washington and public life are not the same as when he was elected to Congress in 1994.
“I’m grateful to the voters of the district and to Lake County before that for putting me in office 11 successive times and entrusting me,” he said.
LaTourette said it’s the job of a legislator to find common ground on legislation, and that’s not happening now.
In particular, he expressed frustration that Congress hasn’t been able to pass federal highway or farm bills.
He also said it was “insane” that the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, known by many as the super committee, couldn’t arrive at a solution to help curb the federal deficit.
He quickly dismissed speculation that he was ill or was unhappy with potential committee assignments as reasons for his retirement.
During an exclusive interview with The News-Herald, LaTourette said whatever his future holds likely won’t include running for office again.
“I’m sure based upon the things that I’ve done and the knowledge I’ve accumulated I’ll find a job someplace,” he said.
A lawyer, LaTourette also kept open the possibility of a future appointment or other role in politics.
“My goal would be to be as helpful as I can, if someone thought I’d be helpful to something I’d listen to anything, but my sense is my time has come and gone,” he said. “I’m lucky I’m able to make that decision on my own terms, so we’ll see.”
LaTourette looks forward to spending more time with his family and to have a chance to “get my life back.”
The congressman had been slated to face three challengers in the Nov. 6 election: Democrat Dale Virgil Blanchard, an accountant from Solon; and Elaine R. Mastromatteo, a Green Party candidate; and David Macko, a Libertarian candidate.
LaTourette said because he would withdraw from the ballot Aug. 8, Ohio law dictates the party chairmen and GOP central committee secretaries of the seven counties within the congressional district will have until Aug. 13 to place another candidate on the Nov. 6 ballot. It also avoids a Republican primary to name a new candidate.
LaTourette said he won’t be involved in choosing his November replacement unless asked and acknowledged the timing of his decision.
“I know that I’ve put my party in a somewhat precarious position and I apologize for that,” he said.
Lake County Republican Party Chairman Dale Fellows said there will be many people interested to run for the position Nov. 6.
“We have in those seven counties a lot of great talent and elected officials who will be greatly interested in this,” Fellows said. “The sad thing today is we are losing probably the greatest congressman we’ve had from Northeast Ohio and certainly the most effective from Northeast Ohio in a long time.”
Sources said among the early names who might have interest are Judges Tim and Diane Grendell, Judge Vincent A. Culotta, Judge Eugene A. Lucci, Geauga County Prosecutor Dave Joyce, former state Rep. Matt Dolan, state Rep. Ron Young, Cuyahoga County District Councilman Jack H. Schron and LaTourette’s chief of staff, Dino DiSanto.
Fellows said LaTourette will be impossible to replace, but Republicans will do their due diligence to be prepared.
Whomever is selected, Fellows noted, will have about 90 days to run a campaign and raise money to run against someone like Blanchard who has appeared on the ballot many times.