GOP Names Replacement For LaTourette On Ballot

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David Joyce was introduced as the GOP candidate for Ohio's 14th Congressional District, which sits along Lake Erie in northeast Ohio and is seen as reliably republican.(Photo: WCPN)
David Joyce was introduced as the GOP candidate for Ohio's 14th Congressional District, which sits along Lake Erie in northeast Ohio and is seen as reliably republican.(Photo: WCPN)

GOP leaders in Northeast Ohio have chosen Geauga County prosecutor David Joyce to replace Congressman Steve LaTourette on the fall ballot.

David Joyce was first elected Geauga County Prosecutor in 1988. He’s 55, married, with three children. He and LaTourettefc are reportedly close. At a press conference Friday shortly after his selection was announced, Joyce laid out his views on what he would bring to Congress.

“Over the coming months the hardworking taxpayers of the 14th district will hear our message of cost effective government that is limited in scope, and focused where needed.

“A message that calls for the federal government to get out of the way of job creation by removing unnecessary regulatory red tape and reforming our unfair and antiquated tax system. A message that does not tell people what they want to hear, but what they need to know.”

Joyce stressed the importance of physical infrastructure – roads, bridges, rail and harbors – to Northeast Ohio business and commerce, and lauded LaTourette’s diligence in securing federal funds for infrastructure spending, an indication that he doesn’t oppose earmarks as many republicans in Congress have. And he says he supports a fully funded defense.

Joyce hedged a bit when asked if he would follow in LaTourette’s moderate footsteps.

“Steve tells me I run to the right of him. But I find myself as a person who looks at the issues before him, as I’ve done here as a prosecutor. I take the facts and evidence and look at the law and I come to a result that I think is appropriate.”

LaTourette announced in late July that he would not seek re-election because of the increasingly-partisan climate in Washington.

Joyce’s selection was an unusual circumstance, one that members of the the 14-person committee of GOP Chairs and secretaries say they’ve never encountered. LaTourette officially withdrew from the race Wednesday – less than 90 days before the general election.

More than 90 days would have triggered a primary, which LaTourette and others say would have been expensive and time consuming.

When the vacancy falls inside that 90 day window it falls to party leaders to pick a replacement. Cuyahoga County GOP Chairman Rob frost says a quick decision was called for, and Joyce stood out among the field of some 20 people who expressed interest in running.

“I was able to meet with each of the candidates who wanted to sit down with me or talk in person with other where we couldn’t get together. And I was able to decide early on, the first time that I met Dave Joyce about this, that he was a person who was well qualified to go to Congress.”

Asked whether HE thinks joyce will follow LaTourette’s moderate stance, Charlie Frye, Chairman of the Ashtabula Republican Party, responds this way:

“Well, we’ll have to find out when he starts voting on the different issues that come before him. But I think he would mirror LaTourette in many ways.”

In November Joyce will face Dale Virgil Blanchard, a Solon accountant and a perennial candidate who has run in every election since LaTourette was a freshman congressman.

Some have suggested he leave the race and make way for a stronger democratic candidate, but Blanchard has indicated he plans to see this campaign through.

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