Ohio congressman leaving office

Congressman Rep. Pat Tiberi announced Thursday that he will be leaving Congress by the end of next January, capping 16 years representing his central Ohio congressional district.

In a statement released at 10 a.m., Tiberi said he would not be seeking re-election. Instead, he’ll serve as president of the Ohio Business Roundtable.

RELATED: Tiberi decides against Senate run

“It has been the most remarkable honor of my life to serve the people of the 12th District,” he said. “As the son of Italian immigrants, I am forever grateful for the opportunity my parents gave me by coming to America and raising our family in Ohio. It was because of their pursuit of the American Dream that made it possible for me to serve 17 years in the halls of Congress representing my home. This truly is the greatest country in the world.”

He said his new job would allow him “to continue to work on public policy issues impacting Ohioans while also spending more time with my family.” Tiberi and his wife Denice have four daughters.

While the timing of his announcement is unclear, Tiberi, a Genoa Township Republican, plans to leave by the end of next January.

Voters guide: Your best local resource for Election 2017

Find information on races and candidates you care about, by using your location or browsing information on dozens of races and hundreds of candidates.

Tiberi will replace Richard Stoff, the founder and current president of the Ohio Business Roundtable, who announced in July that he was retiring at the end of this year. Stoff’s compensation totaled $692,038 in 2015, according to the group’s IRS filings.

Sources close to Tiberi said a variety of factors played into his exit. His mother died earlier this year and his father is in ill health. House Speaker Paul Ryan last year bypassed Tiberi to select Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, as the chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, despite the fact that Tiberi had support from the majority of his colleagues on the Republican Steering Committee.

Another loss: the retirement of House Speaker John Boehner in 2015. The two were close political allies, with Tiberi benefiting politically from his close friendship with the West Chester Republican.

And a dysfunctional political environment in Washington made him “miserable” said a source close to Tiberi.

The veteran congressman, who represents Ohio’s 12th congressional district, had considered running for the U.S. Senate in 2018. He ended that speculation in May, announcing that he didn’t want a Senate campaign to take time away from working on tax reform from his position as a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee. Tiberi had more than $6.6 million in campaign funds at the beginning of the month.

Tiberi, 54, was elected to the House in 2000, replacing John Kasich, who had once hired him as an aide in Kasich’s congressional office in Columbus. Tiberi, who grew up in Columbus, also served four terms in the Ohio House in the 1990s.

He is chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee’s subcommittee on health and is currently chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, a House-Senate committee that examines economic issues. And earlier this year, he became the chairman of the House “Main Street Caucus,” a group of moderate Republicans who billed themselves as the “governing” wing of the Republican Party.

Only two other members of the 16-member Ohio delegation have served longer: Rep. Marcy Kaptur was elected in 1983 and Rep. Steve Chabot in 1995, save for a two-year period when Chabot’s seat was held by a Democrat.

While it’s unclear when Tiberi would vacate his House seat, sources told the Dispatch that it might not be until the end of this year.

Gov. John Kasich, whose term expires in January 2019, is not interested in running for his old House seat, said Chris Schrimpf, his political spokesman.

Tiberi, who won his seat in 2016 with nearly 67 percent of the vote, faces Democrat Ed Albertson and Republican Brandon Grisez if he runs next year.

Tiberi’s decision to leave puts him in a growing club of Republicans who are opting to leave Congress: Reps. Dave Reichert of Washington, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, Dave Trott of Michigan and Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania have announced their plans to leave in recent days, as has Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee.

If Tiberi resigns before the end of his term, special elections, including a primary, would be staged to fill his seat. When Speaker John Boehner of Ohio resigned from his seat in late 2015, it took four and one-half months to stage the March 15, 2016 primary and nearly another three months for the June 7, 2016 election won by Republican Warren Davidson.

The reliably Republican 12th District takes in northern Franklin County suburbs and all of Delaware, Morrow and Licking counties. It includes parts of Marion, Muskingum and Richland counties.

Dispatch reporter Randy Ludlow contributed to this story.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Politics

Ohio Senators Portman, Brown criticize separating kids from parents at border
Ohio Senators Portman, Brown criticize separating kids from parents at border

Sens. Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown, and Republican Steve Stivers of Upper Arlington sharply criticized the Trump administration for separating children from parents trying to cross the border in the United States. In a statement Tuesday, Portman, R-Ohio, repeated what he has said during the past few weeks, saying "is counter to our values. We...
Trumpism finds a safe space at a conservative women’s conference
Trumpism finds a safe space at a conservative women’s conference

The young women had come from 48 states across the country, yearning for moments of belonging they rarely found at home.  Cheyenne Martin, a 19-year-old student at Georgetown University, described being ridiculed by classmates for her desire to lead the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency one day. But this weekend, she was met with...
Colombia elects populist conservative as president
Colombia elects populist conservative as president

Iván Duque, a populist young conservative who tapped into dissatisfaction with the economy and a controversial peace deal with rebels, won Colombia’s presidential vote on Sunday.  Duque, a former senator from the right-wing Democratic Center party, won about 54 percent of the vote in the balloting on Sunday, the second and last round...
Township trustees say Oda resignation leaves them with 30-day deadline
Township trustees say Oda resignation leaves them with 30-day deadline

The trustees of this growing township on the Montgomery-Warren county line moved quickly Monday to replace Fiscal Officer Linda Oda within the 30 days allowed by state law. The Clearcreek Twp. trustees said they were surprised by the timing of Oda’s resignation-retirement after what she described as 10 “bumpy” years. RELATED: Township...
Corey Stewart, Virginia Senate nominee, evokes Trump on racial issues
Corey Stewart, Virginia Senate nominee, evokes Trump on racial issues

Speaking to a racially mixed audience in August 2016, Corey Stewart, the far-right provocateur who won the Republican Senate nomination in Virginia last week, hailed the renaming of a middle school to honor a local black philanthropist instead of a former governor with segregationist roots.  “As we’ve become safer, as we have become...
More Stories