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DeWine faces challenge from 2 in GOP primary



Published: Mon, April 24, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



DeWine has served as an Ohio lieutenant governor.

By JEFF ORTEGA

VINDICATOR CORRESPONDENT

COLUMBUS -- Two southwest Ohioans are challenging Republican U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine, in the May 2 GOP primary election for the office.

On the Democratic side, U.S. Rep. Sherrod Brown, an Avon Democrat, faces a candidate from Fremont in that party's primary for the seat.

Winners of the May primary advance to the November general election.

William G. Pierce of Maineville and David R. Smith of Mason are challenging DeWine, who seeks his third six-year term in the U.S. Senate.

Brown faces Merrill Samuel Keiser Jr. of Fremont for the Democratic nomination.

Spanning decades

DeWine's public service career has spanned decades and covered virtually every level of government.

DeWine, of Cedarville, was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1994 and re-elected in 2000.

Before that, DeWine was lieutenant governor under then-Gov. George V. Voinovich, a Republican and now the junior senator from Ohio.

DeWine also has served as a U.S. representative, a state senator and as the Greene County prosecutor.

DeWine has indicated that making the temporary tax cuts backed by President Bush and adopted by Congress permanent is a major priority.

And DeWine's campaign says he has worked to make sure Ohio gets a fair share of federal education dollars.

'Citizen legislator'

Pierce says he wants to be a "citizen legislator" and has been critical of excessive federal regulations, particularly on small businesses. "Small business has been the backbone of this country," Pierce said.

Pierce ran unsuccessfully for the Mason Board of Education in the early 1980s.

Pierce said he is a full-time candidate and is on a leave of absence from the education field while he's running his campaign.

Smith said DeWine has wavered on issues, such as an increase in government spending.

"Core Republicans are very disappointed in his record," Smith said of DeWine. "They're tired of politics as usual."

Smith, who works for Procter & amp; Gamble has run unsuccessfully in the past for congressional seats in Ohio, Tennessee and Utah.

Voice on health care

On the Democratic side, Brown's campaign says that since voters first sent him to Congress in 1992, he has been a respected voice on health care, trade policy, job creation, education and the environment.

Brown's campaign adds that as the senior Democrat on the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, Brown fought to lower the cost of prescription drugs by trying to close loopholes used by brand-name companies to prevent price competition.

Brown has served two terms as Ohio's secretary of state and four two-year terms in the Ohio House of Representatives. He is endorsed by the Ohio Democratic Party.

Keiser couldn't be reached to comment. Calls to a phone listing for Keiser in Fremont either rang unanswered or callers were asked to phone at a later time.




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