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« Stirfry

Initial appraisal of tuesday's election

By Bertram de Souza (Contact)


Published May 3, 2006

-- The big loser in the battle for the Democratic nomination for the 6th Congressional District seat was the national Republican Party, which pumped more than $500,000 into an advertising campaign to undermine Democrat Charlie Wilson's write-in campaign.

Not only didn't the GOP succeed in that most unusual and expensive political ploy, its candidate in the Republican nomination sweepstakes, state Rep. Charles Blasdel, a leader in the House, had an unimpressive showing.

Wilson, a state senator, goes into the general election with a definite advantage over Blasdel.

-- Mahoning County Commissioner David Ludt's attempt to spin his victory in the Democratic primary over former Youngstown Mayor George M. McKelvey as a vindication of his record in office is political tripe.

The only reason that Ludt won is because of the low turnout Tuesday night, which meant the true believers showed up at the polls. And these hard-core Democrats will never forgive McKelvey for endorsing Republican President George Bush in 2004.

-- State Sen. Marc Dann's stunning victory in the race for the Democratic nomination for state attorney general means that a large segment of the electorate in the state supports his commitment to cleaning up politics in Columbus.

Dann of Liberty Township has been leading the charge against what he calls the Republicans' pay-to-play culture as evidenced by coingate.

Dann has correctly concluded that the statewide press will keep alive the story of Republican insider Tom Noe, a rare coins dealer from Toledo, buying influence in state government to secure a questionable contract.

The state senator can be expected to come out with some explosive details about coingate involving key Republican officeholders, including Auditor Betty Montgomery, who won the GOP nomination for attorney general.

-- Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell's win over Attorney General Jim Petro in the race for the GOP nomination for governor will be shown to have resulted from his getting strong support from the ultra conservative wing of the party.

And that raises the following question: Will moderate Republicans hold their noses and vote for the individual who led the charge in 2004 for the so-called marriage amendment, or will they stay home in November?

While Blackwell wears his religion on his sleeve, the Democratic nominee, Congressman Ted Strickland of Lisbon, is an ordained minister who shies away from wrapping his candidacy in "the cloth." Blackwell has no such qualms.


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