Dems tap pro-gun candidate to challenge DeWine

Ohio gun owners have long warned an Ohio GOP that seemed all too ready to defend their support for anti-gun, increasingly left-leaning candidates, that they should not take pro-Second Amendment grassroots support for granted. And they have long wondered what might happen if Democrats realized the political error of their institutional support for gun control and began backing pro-gun candidates.

The Associated Press is reporting that Paul Hackett, the pro-gun Iraq War veteran has decided to challenge Mike DeWine for U.S. Senate in 2006.

From the story:

    Spokesman David Woodruff, who served as Hackett's campaign manager in his special election campaign for the 2nd District House seat against Jean Schmidt, confirmed Hackett's run Monday evening. Hackett had spent the last month hinting at a run against Ohio's senior senator, who is in his second six-year term.

    Hackett was flying back Monday evening from Washington after meeting with Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada and the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, Woodruff said.

    Reid's spokeswoman, Tessa Hefen, would not confirm or deny the meeting Monday, but Woodruff later said Reid gave Hackett the confidence to run.

    "He found overwhelming support from the leaders of the Democratic Party, campaign organizations and staff," Woodruff said.

    DeWine campaign manager Matt Carle said DeWine has a a good record as a senator and "we look forward to presenting that record to the voters next year."

During his failed Congressional campaign last year, Hackett said "I've gone against the grain in the Democratic party. There isn't a bigger gun enthusiast than me." Hackett also announced that he had obtained his Ohio concealed handgun license.

Mike DeWine now has a serious problem. With Paul Hackett on the left and John Mitchell on the right, voters are now going to be able to vote pro-gun on either side of the ticket. This news speaks volumes about the power of pro-gun grassroots advocacy, and volumes about how much trouble anti-gun Senator Mike DeWine is really in.

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