West Chester’s John Boehner becomes Speaker of the House
It didn’t take long for West Chester resident John Boehner to make news in 2011.
Just five days into the year, Boehner was officially elected the 61st Speaker of the House.
Locally, more news surrounding Boehner took place as protesters picketed throughout 2011 outside his West Chester office.
However, on Jan. 5, many local residents witnessed something that they may never see again.
“Well I am 63 and this has never happened before and I doubt it will ever happen again in my lifetime,” said Bill Langdon, owner of Grand Ole Pub in West Chester. “So, to me, it is much bigger than the Super Bowl. That happens every year. Having the Speaker of the House be your congressman? Never happened to me. This is a monumental event.”
- Photos of John Boehner’s Speaker of the House office
- Photos of John Boehner preparing for swear-in with staff
- Photos of John Boehner swearing-in party at Grand Ole Pub
- Photos of John Boehner through the years
- Photos of John Boehner becoming speaker
While many of the people felt a personal connection to Boehner just because they shared the same hometown, others have actually known the man before he was a congressman.
“I am trying to let this soak in,” Gary Cates, who has known Boehner for 28 years, said while watching the swearing-in of Boehner at the Grand Ole Pub. “To see this happen to someone you know is unbelievable. Outside of knowing the President of the United States personally, this is pretty big stuff.”
Cates actually knew him from the beginning when Boehner served as the president of the Lakota Hills homeowners association and as a Union Township trustee. At the time of Boehner’s swear in, Cates was an Ohio Senator. Now, Cates is the Senior Vice Chancellor for Innovation and Enterprise Development at the Ohio Board of Regents.
“He has really started at the grassroots level. It is a real great accomplishment on his part to persevere to get to where he is today,” Cates said. “I am sure I speak for a lot of people, we are all really proud of him for what he has done for our area.”
Former Cincinnati Enquirer caricature artist Jerry Dowling, who was involved in the Lakota Hills homeowners association back in the late 70s, was also at the bar to witness Boehner’s special moment.
“It is unbelievable that this could happen. No one expected John to rise up the way he has. This is just flabbergasting. We are so thrilled,” Dowling said.