Candidate Petro's Lt. Gov candidate withdraws

Following weeks of rumor, and a strong insistence just last week by Petro campaign manager Bob Paduchik that it was all just a story being circulated by his opponents, the Petro campaign announced Monday that Phil Heimlich would not be running for Lt. Governor on the Petro for Governor ticket.

The Cincinnati Enquirer writes that with Petro "facing a potentially difficult state-wide election – and his Republican Party possibly losing control of the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners", Heimlich has decided that he will seek re-election for a second four-year term as commissioner, a job he has held since Jan. 1, 2003.

From the story:

    George Vincent, chairman of the Hamilton County Republican Party, said he asked Petro last Thursday to release Heimlich from his obligation to run as lieutenant governor.

    "This is a big win for our community," Vincent said today.

    Led by Heimlich, the county commission has controlled spending -- this year's budget is the same as it was last year -- and tax increases.

The story explains that Hamilton County Republicans were worried that a big-name Democrat could seek Heimlich’s seat, since no other well-known Republican had announced their intentions to run.

The Associated Press noted that Petro, the only one of three major Republican candidates who had chosen a running mate, selected Heimlich last March in a move seen as an attempt by the suburban Cleveland moderate to get a conservative voice with high-name recognition in the GOP-dominant Cincinnati area.

Readers of this website will recall that soon after Heimlich's announcement last spring, he took a concealed carry class and announced his intentions to apply for a license to carry.

In 2003, Heimlich attended the state's first Open Carry Defense Walk in Cincinnati, and was one of only a few elected officials across the state to attend one of the 20 grassroots-organized Walks that helped encourage the legislature to pass Ohio's concealed carry law.

Heimlich issued a statement saying he still thinks Petro is the best candidate for governor. Pro-gun Secretary of State Ken Blackwell and anti-self-defense State Auditor Betty Montgomery are also seeking the GOP's gubernatorial nomination.


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