LaTourette Out In Surprise Departure
Updated at 7:14 p.m.
Rep. Steven LaTourette, R-Ohio, will not run for reelection, National Journal has confirmed with two Republican sources. The nine-term veteran's abrupt retirement less than 100 days before Election Day places a totally safe seat in a degree of jeopardy, though Republicans are confident they will hold onto Ohio's 14th Congressional District.
LaTourette's retirement was first reported by the Columbus Dispatch, which wrote that LaTourette was in disagreement with leadership over committee assignments. One of the Republicans who confirmed LaTourette's retirement is a GOP leadership aide.
The 14th District gave just under 50 percent of its presidential votes to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in 2008, and is less strongly Republican than some other districts Democrats are targeting this year. Furthermore, Democrats are stuck with a perennial candidate in nominee Dale Blanchard, who has failed in several prior challenges to LaTourette.
According to Ohio state law, a committee composed of county Republican chairmen and secretaries will choose the new nominee by August 12, similar to the party committees that replaced nominees in Illinois's 12th and 13th Districts earlier this year.