Friday, February 17, 2006

Ney Gets Primary Opponent

Embattled Rep. Bob Ney (R-Bellaire), with the deadline to file petitions with elections boards across the state looming yesterday, found out he would be having a primary battle in May after all. As per The Hill's reporting, Ney will face off against James Brodbelt Harris, a financial advisor from Zanesville. Harris has never run for political office and his included quote reflects that, "I think this is an unusual opportunity for someone like me to get into the race," said the 36-year-old political neophyte. "I believe any good Republican could hold this Republican gerrymandered district and the only way a Democrat could win this district is in the midst of a scandal." Acknowledging Republican-engineered gerrmandering to kick off your Congressional campaign in that very "gerrymandered" district, as a Republican, is no way to start.

The more interesting aspect of this article is Ohio GOP Chairman Bob Bennett's role in contacting Washington to get a feel for their sentiment regarding Ney and directly asking if a credible candidate like St. Sen. John Carey (R) or St. Sen. Jay Hottinger should enter the Republican primary against Ney. Ulitmately, they apparently decided against that. St. Sen. Carey is running for re-election and Hottinger is running for State House due to term limits. Bennett's contacts to DC campaign insiders illustrates the latest episode in a Ney v. Bennett showdown that started last month when Bennett suggested the Ohio Republican Party would ask Ney to step down if he was indicted. Ney had this to say about Bennett's phone calls, "No matter what phone calls Bob Bennett made, no one considered running...Bob Bennett gets phone call dialing fever, but he did not call me."

Ney appears to be a good Congressman for his district, representing their interests proudly in Washington and trying to save jobs for his district as well. But the impact of Jack Abramoff and his testimony and evidence over "Representative No. 1" looms large over this election. I agree with Bennett that if Ney is indicted, he should step down. Unfortunately we may be left with this political novice who thinks it proper to point out possible GOP gerrymnadering tactics, but it's better than an indicted Congressman who may lose. Without an indictment though, I think Ney will win by better than 10 points. His campaign staff is fighting back tirelessly and the Joe Sulzer (D-Chillicothe) campaign is still asleep behind the wheel.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best regards from NY! » »


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