Ohio2006 Blog

News, analysis, and comments on Ohio elections.

Wednesday, April 5

Cong. 18th: Ney (R) Must Hang On Through Primary

As the noose tightens around the neck of Rep. Bob Ney (R-Heath), the 18th Congressional District incumbent is compelled to stick with his reelection bid for four more weeks or else the Republican Party will wind up with unknown, under-qualified James B. Harris (R-Zanesville) as its official candidate for Congress. This is the real reason why, despite yesterday's capitulation of disgraced former House Majority Leader Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) and the increasing threat of guilty pleas by underlings with ties to Ney, the embattled Congressman says "While I respect Tom DeLay's decision, I am not Tom DeLay. I have absolutely no intention of retiring." The Republican Party's predicament is explained in the Cleveland Plain Dealer this way:
"But while the formerly high-ranking lawmakers [DeLay and Ney] are both cited by prosecutors in the ongoing Abramoff case, their situations are different, forcing them and their supporters to follow different campaign strategies. While DeLay had already won the GOP nomination for his Houston-area seat March 7, Ney must wait until a May 2 primary. If Ney were to drop out before then, his primary opponent, Zanesville financial analyst James Brodbelt Harris, would need just one vote to win by default. If Ney resigns or quits the race after winning the primary, the GOP chairmen and secretaries of the counties in the district would be able to appoint a replacement."
Of course, the party officially denies that Ney would be replaced now even if it were possible. What else can they say?

"'Even if we had somebody hand-picked who we wanted to replace Bob Ney, we couldn't do it anyway. But that's not the case. Bob Ney is our endorsed candidate,' Ohio GOP spokesman John McClelland said."

So Ney is definitely hanging on for the next month, although if he is indicted before the primary things will get really interesting. Ohio Republican Party Chairman Bob Bennett has said Ney should step down if he is indicted, but would that still be his position if it means running Harris against a strong Democratic candidate?


At 4:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the 27th, your memory of Coughlin's last campaign is different than mine. Bevan sent out misleading information and the Ohio Elections Commission popped him on it. Coughlin advertised that Bevan was lying. People probably remember Coughlin's wife doing a TV ad. It was a response ad to Bevan's attacks.

He does have a reputation as a bruiser on the campaign trail. But he's usually within bounds.

I'd say that after four years of working the district , Coughlin's in better shape than you think.

Hanna's way too out there for this district. Try as she may, Coughlin won't let general election voters forget that. Besides, people don't pay enough attention at the state senate level to notice if a candidate is trying to move to the center.

If it were anybody else, I might agree that Dems could take this seat in this tough year, but Coughlin's a whole different level of contender.

And while the crazy progessives don't like the voter id thing, he always does well with democrats. He'll do very well this year because of his anti-Blackwell position and the revelation that he thinks Alex Arshinkoff is insane. Lots of dems I know are voting for him just for that.

Good luck to either Hanna or Griffith. Wear a helmet - those brick walls can be tough.


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