For the first time in 15 years, a Democrat next year will be representing Warren County in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Cincinnati lost his re-election bid for a new two-year term to represent the 1st Ohio Congressional District to Rep.-elect Greg Landsman, D-Cincinnati in Tuesday’s election in a 52.5% to 47.5% vote, according to unofficial election results from the Ohio Secretary of State.
Landsman said, “In Washington, I’ll prioritize our children and families. I don’t, and will never take, corporate PAC money. I’ll always put the folks here first. I want to be a leader that people, Republicans, Democrats, Independents– are excited to work with. We’ll get a lot of work done together We all want Southwest Ohio to be an even better place for people to raise their families.”
Landsman said his plan is to spend a lot of time in Warren County and doing real work on the ground here.
“No matter where I was on the campaign trail, folks were tired of the chaos and extremism in Washington and want somebody they can work with on their issues,” he said. “People across the political spectrum appreciate a pragmatic leader who will work with them to deliver results. I’m so honored to represent Warren County because they deserve someone who fights with and for them. Always.”
Chabot has publicly announced that he does not plan to run again in the future.
Chabot was first elected in 1994 to represent the 1st District that had seen its boundary lines change due to redistricting over the years. In 2010, the 1st District’s boundaries changed to include all of Warren County and eastern Hamilton County. Previously, Warren County had been in two districts, the 2nd and 6th Districts.
When Warren County was part of the 6th District, Democrat Ted Strickland was the representative from 1993 to 1995 and then was re-elected and served from 1997 to 2007. Strickland stepped down and was elected as Governor of Ohio and served from 2007 to 2011.
Chabot was the last sitting member of Congress that rode a Republican wave in 1994 with Newt Gingrich and the “Contract with America” to take over the U.S. House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years. There were 73 freshmen GOP legislators elected that year that helped vote Gingrich as Speaker of the House.
In his final blog to constituents, Chabot said, “It’s been a good run.”
“It has truly been an honor to represent the people of this community for 26 years in Congress, and prior to that on (Cincinnati) City Council and the (Hamilton) County Commission,” he said. “... It’s the country that matters. That we continue to strive to be the best we can be. That this nation continue to stand for what’s right – freedom, opportunity, liberty.”
Warren County officials contacted for this story all expressed their appreciation for Chabot’s service and his assistance in obtaining various federal grants and assistance.
“Congressman Chabot engaged with Lebanon effectively,” said Lebanon City Manager Scott Brunka. “He helped to include a $500,000 grant in the federal budget bill for the North Broadway bike path project.”
He also said Chabot and his staff were accessible to city staff and would work with the city as necessary. Chabot’s Warren County district office was just down the street on North Broadway.
Springboro City Manager Chris Pozzuto said he was “a little surprised” with Chabot’s loss and believes that the redistricting was a factor in his loss.
“He was a good friend to the city,” Pozzuto said. “We wish him well in the future and we look forward to working with Congressman-elect (Greg) Landsman.”
Warren County Commissioner Tom Grossmann said he’s known Chabot for many years and said he ran a good race but the makeup of the district changed with redistricting.
“We all know he was in a marginally Republican district that went to a significant Democratic district,” Grossmann said. “The real story is how Hamilton County districts were redrawn.”
He said if the district lines are redrawn again, it will be a “hotly contested district” that could be determined by who has the money.
Franklin City Manager Jonathan Westendorf said, “it will be a pretty big change in relationships.”
He said the city is very appreciative for what Chabot has done to help the community without question.
“We’re now going to form a new relationship with Greg (Landsman) and move forward in acquiring federal support needed for Franklin to grow,” he said.
Franklin Mayor Brent Centers said he was “not surprised with the defeat of Chabot.” Centers did acknowledge that Chabot was a good representative and voted in a way to support Warren County.
“As mayor of Franklin, Chabot’s help in acquiring federal grants will be sorely missed,” he said. “I hope to work with Landsman to bring federal funds to the city.”
However, Centers, who had announced in early 2021 to run against Chabot in the 2022 primary but ended up withdrawing, said people were looking for some change in representation in Congress.
“For nearly 30 years, people were ready to see new leadership whether it was a Democrat or a Republican,” Centers said. “The Republicans tried the same playbook and it failed. The right Republican could have won this race.”
Landsman said he plans to have be a district office in Warren County.
“We’re looking into spaces now,” he said. “Most importantly, we plan on doing a lot of work with folks on the issues that matter most to them in Warren County.”
He said his priorities for the district include getting wages up and costs down, making it easier to raise a family.
“This economy has been broken for a long time, and folks here need relief. That’s a huge issue for our families right now, and a great place to start is restoring the Child Tax Credit,” he said. “I also plan on making sure that infrastructure funding continues to come to Southwest Ohio to help repair our roads and bridges. I’ll vote to protect fundamental freedoms, and to preserve and strengthen our democracy from attacks on our free and fair elections.”