Ohio Republican Rep. Steve Austria retiring
A major redistricting civil war in Ohio has been averted, thanks to Rep. Steve Austria (R).
The two-term lawmaker announced Friday that he would not run for reelection.
“I am not going to run for Congress next term as a result of the redistricting map,” Austria said. He called the process “unfair” but added that he did not want to get into a primary that “pitted friends against friends.”
Republican mapmakers were forced to eliminate one of their own seats in order to protect their 11 other incumbents.
Austria lost out. His current 7th district seat was combined with that of Rep. Mike Turner (R). Austria’s not-very-good choices were a tough fight against the five-term Turner or moving and challenging fellow GOP Rep. Steve Stivers, a friend who is also very close to House Speaker John Boehner (R).
Earlier this month, it looked as though Austria would take on Turner; the two were already starting to spar in public.
“I’d like to be one of the first to thank Steve for his service to Ohio and our country,” Turner said in a statement. “I know he is an honorable man and throughout his time in office he has done what he thought was right for Southwest Ohio and his constituents.”
National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas.) chimed in with his own statement, saying “I join House Republicans in thanking Steve for his hard work in Congress, and we will miss his friendship and service.”