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Buehrer Gets Backing of Two Conservative Groups

State Sen. Steve Buehrer (R), one of two leading candidates in the special election to replace the late Rep. Paul Gillmor (R), received endorsements from two groups this week, including the Club for Growth.

The club cited Buehrer’s vote against former Republican Gov. Bob Taft’s budget a few years back, which included the largest tax hike in state history, as a primary reason for backing Buehrer. His chief opponent, state Rep. Bob Latta (R), voted for the tax hike, according to the club.

“Unfortunately, Bob Latta is trying to sell himself as an economic conservative, hoping he can paper over his tax-happy record during the short five weeks until he primary special election,” Club for Growth President Pat Toomey wrote.

Buehrer also was endorsed by Ohio-based group The Liberty Committee, which according to its Web site, seeks to “recruit, train and support principled conservative candidates for public office.”

Latta’s campaign responded that he is not concerned about the outside group and touted his recent announcement that he had raised more than $150,000 from individuals since he announced his candidacy in mid-September. Latta campaign manager Matt Parker also said former Rep. Mike Oxley (R-Ohio) will host a fundraiser for his boss in the coming weeks in Washington, D.C.

The special election primary, which likely will decide the next Member representing the heavily Republican district, will be held on Nov. 6. The general election is scheduled for Dec. 11.

The winner will replace Gillmor, who died in early September after holding the seat since narrowly defeating Latta in the 1988 GOP primary. Latta’s father held the seat before Gillmor.

— Shira Toeplitz

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