By DAN SEWELL
A steelworker and union official who introduced President Barack Obama at a campaign rally seven months ago introduced himself Friday as a Democratic candidate in House Speaker John Boehner’s western Ohio district.
Andrew Hounshell, 37, planned a kickoff announcement Friday evening in Middletown, after earlier revealing a campaign website and Twitter account for his 2014 campaign.
“We learn from our mistakes, and one of those is that we know now that voting the same way over and over and expecting our leaders in Washington to start paying attention to the families in their districts instead of the lobbyists in their golf carts isn’t going to happen,” Hounshell said in a statement.
Hounshell is vice president of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers local that represents hourly employees at AK Steel’s Middletown plant. That union began representing the Middletown workers in 2006 amid a company lockout that lasted more than a year.
He gave a speech introducing President Barack Obama at a September rally in Cincinnati’s Eden Park, but this will be his first run for public office. The Middletown native says he served in the Army out of high school before going to work at AK Steel, and that he is studying for a degree in labor studies. He and his wife have 3-year-old triplets.
David Kern, Republican Party chairman in Boehner’s home Butler County, said Hounshell joins others who “have jousted at windmills” in the district.
“Congressman Speaker Boehner has done a superb job representing the district, and he has stellar ratings on issues like fiscal conservatism and from organizations like the NRA and Right to Life that mean a lot to people in our area,” Kern said.
Boehner won the Republican-dominated 8th District in 1990 after his GOP primary victory over an incumbent caught in a sex scandal, and he has handily won re-elections since. Boehner, who usually spends much of the campaign season speaking and raising money for other Republican candidates, won nearly 66 percent of the vote in the 2010 general election and had no Democratic opponent last year.
The district begins just south of the 63-year-old Boehner’s West Chester Township home and stretches north along the Indiana border to near Celina in northwest Ohio, and eastward through Springfield and Clark County.