The Tri-State connection: Paul Ryan and John Boehner
Boehner's childhood home (Photo: Dave Smith, FOX19 NOW)
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -
John Boehner officially stepped down as Speaker of the House after taking the job in 2011.
In his farewell speech, Boehner reflected on what he's done in office, and where he came from.
“I'm still just me, the same guy who came here 25 years ago as a small businessman and spent all these 25 years trying to just be me," Boehner said on Capitol Hill Thursday.
Boehner told a cheering audience about his belief in this nation.
"If you just do the right things for the right reasons good things will happen. And this too could happen to you. God bless you and God bless our great country," Boehner said.
After his speech, the house made everything official with minority leader Nancy Pelosi handing over the gavel to new speaker Paul Ryan. Ryan didn't waste any time talking about what needs to be done in congress.
"The house is broken. We're not solving problems, we're adding to them. And I'm not interested in laying blame or settling scores. We are wiping the slate clean," Ryan said.
Ryan has ties to the Tri-State just like Boehner.
Boehner served in congress for 25 years and nearly five of those years as speaker of the house. Boehner's district office is in West Chester, a community which, according to long time Boehner's friend George Lang, owes a lot to the now former speaker of the house.
“Over 60,000 people now work in over 3,200 West Chester domiciled businesses and John was a big part of laying the framework that we are enjoying today,” Lang said.
Boehner says his pursuit of the American dream began in the Cincinnati suburb of Reading where he grew up in a small house at the bottom of a hill.
“The hill had twists, the hill had turns and even a few tears. Nothing wrong with that,” Boehner said.
Ironically, new Speaker, Ryan, was a Boehner campaign volunteer when he was at Miami University.
“I don't think he could pronounce my name back in 1990. He was putting yard signs up for me. As Cincinnatus understood there's a difference between being asked to do something and being called to do something,” Ryan said.
Miami's College Republican co-chair Bethany Nye says she's met both Boehner and Ryan.
“It's pretty cool to going from being in the speaker's district to having the speaker be a graduate at your university,” Nye said.
While at Miami, Ryan studied economics under Professor Richard Hart, now retired, but says Ryan is the right man for the job.
“He's a bright, articulate, cerebral, intellectually curious guy. He's clearly the ideas man in the Republican party,” Hart said.
At this moment, Boehner still represents this congressional district. It will be up to the governor to nominate a replacement and set a special election date.