Ohio has become the focus of national politics of late. With election irregularities and bizarre corruption charges involving rare coins, the Buckeye state continues to fascinate and entertain pol watchers across the country. Last night saw some primary races conclude and the results are in. Here's who came out ahead and who we'll watch this fall.
Republican Jean Schmidt won her primary fight last night against former Rep., and motivational speaker, Bob McEwen. Schmidt, who is famous for her shameful "cowards cut and run, marines never do" attack on Jack Murtha, ran into some difficulties and appears to be fairly beaten up by the process.
Cincinnati's Enquirer daily reports that things got a bit rough and tumble with Schmidt suing to block her opponent from even voting in Ohio (claiming his residency is actually in DC) and herself receiving two reprimands from the voting commission for claiming degrees she didn't earn and endorsements she never received.
Schmidt is also the dolt who narrowly defeated Democratic Iraqi war veteran Paul Hackett last year. Hackett's near-win in a usually solid conservative district shot him to the upper reaches of the Democratic party and positioned him for a Senatorial challenge—until the DNC fucked it up and withdrew their support, thus discouraging Hackett from running for any office.
Though McEwen has conceded the race, his campaign manager has said he'll challenge the results.
"It's our feeling that for the fourth straight election in a row, voters have witnessed irregularities in the voting process in Clermont County," said McEwen campaign manager Ed Jenkins. "Naturally, this creates suspicion in the integrity of the overall electoral process that merits further evaluation."
Abramoff-linked Rep. Bob Ney also won his primary last night against a nobody. Often referred to in Abramoff court papers as "Representative No. 1," Ney is facing deepening troubles with federal prosecutors reportedly pursuing a wide range of allegations against the lawmaker. Action Jack has implicated Ney as receiving gifts for official acts, including positive remarks in the congressional record for Abramoff clients.
Republican Secretary of State and Bush water carrier Kenneth Blackwell also won his primary run for Ohio Governor. Blackwell, famous as the Republican chief state elections official in 2004, beat out Attorney General Jim Petro. Blackwell's campaign ads connected Petro to embattled Governor Bob Taft, who pleaded no contest to four ethics violations last year and was implicated in the notorious Rare Coins-Gate fiasco.
And finally, Sen. Charlie Wilson squeaked by with a write-in vote victory after somehow failing to secure the necessary signatures to get his name on the ballot. According to the Ft. Wayne News Sentinel, two-thirds of Democratic voters wrote in state Sen. Charlie Wilson's name in the 6th District. Bolstered by local union involvement, Wilson was able to drum up his write-in campaign and avoid forfeiting what could be a very competitive seat for the Democrats.
"The AFL-CIO had 300 volunteers in the district for the last two weeks of the campaign," the News Snetinel reports. "Promoting Wilson and explaining the write-in process with 120,000 phone calls, letters to the members of 201 local unions and about 35,000 work site leaflets, national union spokesman Steve Smith said."