The DCCC Won't Acknowledge Him, Let Alone Help Him, But There Is A Democrat Running Against John Boehner This Year
My name is Tom Poetter and I am the Democratic nominee for Congress in Ohio's 8th Congressional District against Speaker John A Boehner. I am a professor in the College of Education, Health, and Society at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. My research interests are curriculum studies and the politics of education.
I am running in this race because no one was on the ballot in 2012, and progressives deserve a vote here, too, even in the most conservative district in Ohio. This is about building an infrastructure for a congressional campaign, about starting somewhere, and about making sure that viable candidates can run here in the future. Boehner doesn't run-- he takes his election for granted. As a result, people here don't even know what federal congress DOES, what candidates DO. No one has ever personally asked them for their vote. No one has held town halls on critical issues and no one has ever asked them for anything, including for money and volunteer time. We have to build a capacity to do these things, or we won't ever be able to challenge the status quo.
We know the odds against Boehner. We also know that power needs to be questioned, and power needs to be CHALLENGED. Atticus Finch, in Harper Lee’s novel To Kill A Mockingbird says, “I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.” Let me remind you: We are running for Congress against the most powerful Republican in the nation.
In our campaign we keep in mind the following: IF YOU CANNOT WIN, YOU CANNOT LOSE. Some people think we shouldn’t talk like that, but I want to tell you that this is the experience of a lifetime and you’ve got to be willing to get in it, to do things that people say you’ve no right to do, if you’re going to make any progress. And we’ve already won, because we are DOING IT. Running in this race as a progressive voice IS winning.
I spend 60 seconds each day imagining what it would be like to unseat the SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE. I spend a minute a day feeling those feelings of absolute elation and sheer terror. From the beginning I had an inkling, a glimmer of belief, that if certain things happened, we could win and I still allow myself that rousing feeling, dreaming of winning, for one minute per day. Why just a minute? Because you have to keep your head down, focus on the purposes you are trying to fulfill with whatever talents and time that you have at hand. And there is so much work to do!
And running a congressional race the right way and focusing on the most important things in this election are the most critical, highest purposes to attend to, and some of the most important work we can do.
Our clear and defined purpose: We have to connect with unaffiliated voters, independents, and soft Republican voters in this district, and there are over 300,000 of them. Turning out votes is done with the aid of the two most important, major tools of the day: money, and direct voter contact strategies. No one has ever attempted a campaign with this focus against Boehner in his 24 years in office. And we are doing it and doing it well.
I want this campaign to be a testament to people who step up in impossible circumstances. I want this campaign to honor the ideas that we all share, and to honor a belief in democracy. I want this campaign to be a testament to my staff, to the people who do this for the love of it and for the hope embedded in running and winning and in serving.
I'll never forget walking into that voting booth in 2012 and there was no one on the ballot contesting Speaker Boehner. This isn't that year, and I am so proud, and so happy to be running.
Please support our campaign here.