Boehner Not Campaigning With Home-state Candidate Before Key Special Election

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) has no plans to campaign in his home state for GOP state Rep. Bob Latta, who is facing a competitive fight to hold a solidly-Republican seat in a special election next Tuesday.

Latta spokesman Matt Parker confirmed that Boehner is not scheduled to campaign in the district before the election. Boehner has not campaigned with Latta since he won the party's nomination on November 6.

“Bob Latta’s campaigning on his own merits. He’s campaigning his own way because he wants to go to Washington to do his own thing,” said Parker. “He has his own agenda. He doesn’t have to have John Boehner by his side.”

Boehner is, however, campaigning at a rally with the Republican nominee in a Virginia special election this weekend, aiding state Del. Rob Wittman in a less-contested race on the same date.

In addition, Boehner also offered Wittman a rare public assurance earlier this week that he will work to secure the candidate a spot on the House Armed Services Committee.

Parker added that Boehner has “been helpful” to the campaign, but didn’t specify the assistance he provided. A spokesman for Boehner's PAC said that some individuals on the congressman's staff have been organizing volunteers and making phone calls on Latta's behalf.

Boehner’s home district, based in exurban Cincinnati, abuts the neighboring Fifth District -- where Latta is running.

Both party committees have spent sizable sums on negative advertising in the northwestern Ohio district, which has been held by Republicans for decades. Latta is facing Robin Weirauch, a Democrat who twice ran for the seat unsuccessfully against the late GOP Rep. Paul Gillmor.

The district is solidly Republican – President Bush won 61 percent of the vote in the 2004 presidential election. Gillmor won 57 percent of the vote against Weirauch last year.