Thursday, February 23, 2006

Knocked off ballot in Ohio -- for Congress

See the comments for another story about a Careless Congress Critter Want-a-Be.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Embarrassment: Dem Front-Runner Disqualified for Ohio Ballot
By Susan Jones Senior Editor
February 23, 2006

( -- In what Republicans are calling a "high-profile gaffe," a Democrat running for Congress in Ohio's 6th Congressional District has been disqualified from running in the Democratic primary.

State Sen. Charlie Wilson failed to get the minimum number of petition signatures, election officials said on Wednesday.

To qualify for the May 2 primary ballot, Wilson needed 50 signatures of registered Democratic voters, and although he submitted 96 signatures a few days before the filing deadline, only 46 were found to be valid, elections officials said. (Many of the signatures were from Democrats who live outside the 6th District, press reports said.)

The Columbiana County Board of Elections' decision to disqualify him "represents a major setback for National Democrats in their efforts to hold on to one of the country's most vulnerable open seats," the National Republican Congressional Committee said.

"Charlie Wilson has proven he's either habitually careless, or simply doesn't believe he has to play by the same rules that every other Ohioan has to -- that he's above the law," said NRCC spokesman Ed Patru. "Either way, Charlie Wilson's actions are unacceptable for someone pursuing the public trust."

The NRCC said Wilson's disqualification is a "colossal failure" for Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rahm Emanuel, whose political action committee gave Wilson a $2,000 last fall.

"In addition, Rep. Emanuel has gone to great lengths to boast of his party's prospects in Ohio, saying as recently as this week that, 'Ohio is ground zero for voters who want real change from the status quo and ethical scandals in government,'" the NRCC noted.

"In good faith, I submitted more than enough valid signatures to the board of elections, so I am obviously disappointed with this decision today," Wilson said in a statement released Wednesday afternoon.

"I am exploring a number of options, and am confident that in November I will be on the ballot and I will win the privilege and responsibility of representing Ohio families in Congress."

Wilson could run as a write-in candidate or as an Independent in the May 2 primary election. Two other Democrats will appear on the ballot, but Wilson was considered the front-runner.

He is running for the seat now occupied by Rep. Ted Strickland, a Democrat who is running for Ohio governor.

On the Republican side, Chuck Blasdel, the Ohio House Speaker pro tempore, is expected to win his party's nomination in Ohio's 6th District.

Given Wilson's unexpected disqualification, Congressional Quarterly on Wednesday said it is changing its election forecast to "No Clear Favorite" from "Leans Democratic."