Now Defeated, Stivers Foots Bill for Orientation Expenses

Posted December 8, 2008 at 10:57am

Recently defeated Ohio Republican Steve Stivers will not let taxpayers foot the bill for his trip to New Member Orientation last month — perhaps with hopes of coming back to the Capitol for a longer visit in two years.

Rep.-elect Mary Jo Kilroy (D) defeated Stivers for the 15th Congressional district in a close contest that was officially decided Monday morning. Because the race was still undecided when the new class of Members attended orientation in Washington, D.C., last month, both Stivers and Kilroy journeyed to attend the meetings.

According Stivers spokesman Mike Hartley, the campaign paid for the Republican’s flight and hotel with the understanding that Congress would pay it back if he won the election.

But Stivers’ decision to foot his own travel bill could be an indication that he might be interested in running again for the Columbus-area seat in 2010.

Stivers, a state Senator who gave up his seat to run for Congress, is said to have not ruled out running again in two years and is seriously considering a second bid. According to GOP sources in Ohio, state Republican leaders and operatives are already calling him and asking him to run against Kilroy in 2010.

But Hartley demurred about a second Stivers bid, saying that reimbursing taxpayers is consistent with his political beliefs.

“That has nothing to do with 2010. That is just the way he is,” Hartley said. “As far as 2010, he’s going to take some time and think about things and talk to people.”