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Boehner’s Multistate Tour Guns for GOP Majority

Updated: Aug. 20, 5:54 p.m.

House Minority Leader John Boehner spent the past few weeks on a bus tour across several states trying to shore up GOP challengers and vulnerable incumbents to help pave the way to a Republican majority — and his speakership.

By the end of August, Boehner will have visited at least nine states and attended a series of private fundraisers for more than a dozen candidates.

Don Seymour, a spokesman for Boehner, said the Minority Leader is dedicated to making sure GOP candidates and incumbents have the resources they need to win.

“Leader Boehner is working nonstop to back Republican candidates who will help small businesses create new jobs, stop the Washington spending spree, and make Congress more open and accountable,” Seymour said in an e-mail. “He’s doing everything he can to show that a new Republican Majority will stop the Democrats’ jobs-killing agenda, help end the uncertainty that’s crippling our economy, and get serious about tackling the debt that threatens the future for our children and grandchildren.”

Boehner has made his desire to be Speaker a part of his stump speech, telling listeners how his party would run the chamber differently if it reclaims the majority.

His quest for the gavel also has become part of his fundraising operation.

The Boehner for Speaker Committee, which recently filed its first quarterly report, raised $570,000 through June 30.

The Boehner bus tour began the month in Indiana, where he attended events for Republican candidates Larry Bucshon, Todd Rokita and Todd Young.

Bucshon is running for the 8th district open seat of Senatorial candidate Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D). Rokita is running for the 4th district held by retiring Rep. Steve Buyer (R). Young is hoping to unseat Rep. Baron Hill (D-Ind.) in November.

Boehner then traveled to Kentucky and appeared at events for Todd Lally and Andy Barr.

Barr is challenging Rep. Ben Chandler (D), while Lally hopes to unseat Rep. John Yarmuth (D) in November.

“We need to win every race we can and this is a great example of a seat we can win. [Lally has] an uphill fight, but he can do it,” Boehner told television station WHAS11 after an event for Lally on Aug. 4.

Boehner stopped in his home state of Ohio to attend a fundraiser for state Sen. Bob Gibbs, who is challenging Rep. Zack Space (D), and then spent several days in Pennsylvania appearing at events for Republican Congressional hopefuls Tim Burns, Lou Barletta, Tom Marino, Dave Argall and former Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick.

Pennsylvania Republican Reps. Jim Gerlach and Charlie Dent also received visits from Boehner.

Boehner visited with about 150 Republican donors at an event for Dent where the minimum ticket price was $500 per person. Those who wished to have their picture taken with Boehner paid at least $1,000.

Over the weekend, Boehner is scheduled to attend fundraisers in upstate New York for Chris Gibson and Ann Marie Buerkle, according to local reports.

Gibson and Buerkle hope to unseat Democratic Reps. Scott Murphy and Dan Maffei, respectively.

On Wednesday, Boehner will be in Michigan to fundraise for former Rep. Tim Walberg, who is seeking to reclaim his former seat from Rep. Mark Schauer, who narrowly defeated the one-term Republican in 2008.

From there, Boehner will travel to Minnesota to attend a fundraiser for candidate Randy Demmer and to Wisconsin for a speech at the American Legion National Convention in Milwaukee.

Demmer hopes to unseat Rep. Tim Walz (D) in November.

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