State Rep. Tim Derickson, R-Hanover Twp., was endorsed on Wednesday by the Preble County Republican Party, which picked him over the county’s own state senator in the GOP race to fill the open 8th District seat vacated by John Boehner last year.
“I am honored to receive this endorsement from my fellow Republicans in Preble County,” said Derickson in a statement released by his campaign. “Preble County, like all of rural America, needs leaders in Washington to stand up for our values. I did it in the statehouse and I will defend our way of life every moment if sent to Washington.”
The 8th Congressional District covers all of Butler, Preble, Darke, Miami, and Clark counties and part of Mercer County.
Preble County GOP Chairman David Haber said the central and executive committees jointly gave Derickson at least 70 percent of the vote to win the endorsement.
State Sen. Bill Beagle, R-Tipp City, came in second among the 15 Republicans vying to replace Boehner in Congress.
Preble County is part of Beagle’s 5th senate district. He could not be reached for comment.
Haber said about 48 of the 55 executive and central committee members attended the meeting and he was pleasantly surprised that they were able to come up with an endorsement after about five rounds of voting.
“I really was shocked. I really didn’t think we’d get an endorsement, like Butler County,” said Haber, referring to the Butler County GOP’s inability to settle on a candidate to endorse.
Haber said what set Derickson apart from the others was how hard he worked to get the endorsement by visiting, calling or otherwise attempting to reach every member of the central and executive committees.
Derickson earlier garnered key endorsements from State Senate President Pro Tempore Chris Widener, R-Springfield and Ohio Right to Life.
Beagle has been endorsed by all three Darke County Commissioners and the two Republican State Central Committee members in his district, Stephanie Garrett and Darryl Mehaffie.
Republican Warren Davidson of Troy was endorsed by The Club For Growth PAC.
Other Republicans in the race are: Matthew Ashworth of Liberty Twp., Scott George of Monroe Twp. in Miami County, Eric Haemmerle of West Chester Twp., Terri King of Middletown, Joseph Matvey of West Chester Twp., Edward Meer of West Chester Twp., John Robbins of Monroe, James Spurlino of Washington Twp., Kevin White of New Carlisle, J.D. Winteregg of Troy, George Wooley of Troy and Michael Smith of Germantown.
Democrat Corey Foister of Fairfield and Green Party candidate Jim Condit Jr. of Cincinnati are also running.
The March 15 ballot includes the special election primary, with the winners advancing to a special June 7 election to fill the remainder of Boehner’s current term ending Jan. 3.
The March 15 ballot also includes a regular primary, and each party will send a candidate to the Nov. 8 General Election to compete for a full two-year term that begins on Jan. 3.