8th Congressional District vacancy: One for the record books?

The people of former House Speaker John Boehner’s congressional district will need to hang tight: They’re not getting a new congressman until June 7.

That makes Boehner’s vacancy – 220 days – the longest  vacancy since 1965.

According to Smart Politics, a non-partisan political news site at the University of Minnesota, the 8th congressional district vacancy is more than twice the average of the more than 200 vacancies in the chamber since 1965. It’s the longest vacancy in a non-election year since 1969.

Boehner resigned from both the speakership and the House Oct. 31.

It’s not the longest vacancy, however: That distinction goes to an Illinois congressional district which held its seat open for 447 days after three-term Illinois Democrat Daniel Ronan died in August 1969.

Aside from Ronan and Boehner, the only other vacancy that began in non-election year to last 200 or more days came in Pennsylvania’s 27th congressional district in 1971.

Fourteen-term Republican James Fulton died on Oct. 6, 1971, and the special election to fill his seat wasn’t held until April 25, 1972 – 202 days later.

As for Ohio: There have been 10 U.S. House vacancies in Ohio over the last 50 years. None have been even half as long as the seven-plus month gap in representation in Boehner’s seat.


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