Post Classifieds

Miami professor to challenge Speaker of the House in next election

By Shannon O'Connor
On November 5, 2013

  • Director of graduate studies, Thomas Poetter, announced his plan to run against incumbent John Boehner in the next election on Nov. 4, 2014. Thomas Poetter | Miami University

A familiar name will be on the next Ohio ballot for the House of Representatives. Miami University's Director of Graduate Studies Thomas Poetter plans to run against incumbent John Boehner in the election Nov. 4, 2014.

While the day of voting is over a year away, recall members of the House of Representatives have elections every two years that determine whether they will be keeping their position or stepping down.

A Newsweek article published Tuesday said Boehner has won his Ohio House seat with at least 60 percent of the popular vote since 1990. Last year, he ran unopposed. Poetter said there should always be options and debate in a democracy.

"It shouldn't matter which side you're on. The election is to choose a candidate to represent citizens in the most powerful body in the world," Poetter said. "I'm running because someone has to run, and I believe I'm ready for what lies ahead."

Poetter received a Master's degree in divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, and said he believes his experience at Miami in the educational field has qualified him for the position.

"I'm 50 years old with a wife and family, and I consider myself able-minded, passionate and compassionate," Poetter said. "I'm not a lifetime politician, but I'm a citizen who wishes to represent citizens."

Poetter said the foundation of their diverging beliefs rests on the local issues in District 8. Poetter said his opponent and fellow Ohioan John Boehner's sequester resulted in a shortage of food stamps and other essential services, above all, damages to Ohio's education system.

"Head Start and No Child Left Behind are very important educational programs and mean a great deal to me because I am in this field," Poetter said. "[Boehner] has shaved some programs and cut others altogether. Children not having proper services in a rising economy is a sign of the government working to push citizens back. This is not an accomplishment, it's a disaster. Boehner has seriously hurt these policies with his work on Capitol Hill."

If he is elected, Poetter said he intends to study and enhance his learning of the political world.

"This is expected of a citizen candidate," Poetter said. "But I would not remain in Washington forever, it's not a career goal of mine to become a politician. I'd have every intention of coming back to Miami."

Sophomore Olivia Braude said she is excited about what's in store.

"I think it's amazing our own director of graduate studies is running for a position in Congress," Braude said. "It shows that Miami faculty are concerned with more than just academics. They are truly involved in the greater community."

The student organization at Miami, College Democrats, is hosting a rollout event Tuesday, Nov. 19 in Uptown Park. Students, staff, faculty and community members alike are encouraged to stop by for more information about the milestone.


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