GOP names LaTourette's replacement

"Northeast Ohioans will be able to go to the polls this November with confidence knowing they have a clear choice to elect a leader with the experience and qualifications necessary to represent them in Congress,” Ohio GOP Chairman Bob Bennett said in a statement. “David Joyce's leadership serving the citizens of Geauga County as prosecutor is legendary and his efforts to reduce crime serve as a model for all Ohio counties. I'm delighted that prosecutor Joyce is our nominee for this fall." 

Joyce is the favorite against Democratic candidate Dale Virgil Blanchard. The Plain Dealer reported that Blanchard, an accountant, has made 10 unsuccessful bids for Congress.

The Ohio Democratic Party declined to comment.

The race will be the first open contest for the seat in 18 years. LaTourette was first elected in 1994 and was a close ally of House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). His retirement in July came suddenly. He blamed the toxic nature of Capitol Hill on his decision to leave.

LaTourette commented on Congress's "current atmosphere" last week to The Hill. “It’s a little bit like an alcoholic in my mind. I think the place has to hit bottom before they realize it has a problem and begin to fix it,” he said.