COLUMBUS, Ohio – A Republican Ohio congressman headed for a tough primary as a result of newly drawn districts has told his rival he will not seek re-election.
The decision Friday by 2nd-term U.S. Rep. Steve Austria of Beavercreek avoids a GOP faceoff with U.S. Rep. Mike Turner for the 10th congressional district in southwest Ohio drawn by state lawmakers in a protracted redistricting process.
Turner, in his fourth term, thanked Austria for his service in a statement. Austria's Washington office was closed and he could not be immediately reached for comment.
The new GOP-drawn map shrinking the state from 18 to 16 districts still pits Democratic U.S. Reps. Dennis Kucinich and Marcy Kaptur against each other in the March primary, while Democrat Betty Sutton faces Republican Jim Renacci.