Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Heimlich Steps Aside as Petro's Lt. Governor

Hamilton County Commissioner Phil Hemlich (R) stepped aside Monday as Attorney General Jim Petro's running mate for Lt. Governor, citing his desire to run for re-election on
the Hamilton County Commission and his wish to preserve the current 2-1 GOP majority on the board. Petro accepted his formal withdrawal and Petro has begun searching for a new running mate. Heimlich's departure from Petro's gubernatorial run potentially signals a Petro campaign that is in total disarrray. But the Petro camp pointed to their recent endorsement from the Franklin County Republican Party (Columbus) as proof that their message is catching on and that rank and file Republicans are supporting Petro's candidacy. Heimlich joined Petro's campaign as his running mate in March 2005, scores ahead the other two main GOP candidates for governor (Blackwell and Montgomery) in finding a running mate. But both Blackwell and Montgomery have yet to annonce their respective choices for Lt. Governor, so Petro is not behind any of the two candidates.

Phil Heimlich is currently a member of the Hamilton County Commission and formerly a member of the Cincinnati City Council. Heimlich is the son of the developer of the famous Heimlich maneuver but when Phil Heimlich ran for City Council he became famous for his record fundraising abilities. In his race for City Council in 1997, Heimlich raised over $400,000. A record-breaking total at that time. His hard work in fundraising made him a valuable asset to the Petro campaign for Governor and may be one of the reasons the Petro camp has been able to raise so much money over the past year. Heimlich says he will continue to support Jim Petro for Governor and he is confident Attorney General Jim Petro will be able to find another quality candidate for Lt. Governor.


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