Crowded Field

Crowded field in Republican primary has some party leaders worried

Usually, winning the GOP nomination in southwest Ohio's staunchly Republican Second Congressional District is tantamount to election. But with eleven candidates entered in tomorrow's special primary, some party leaders worry that the "wrong" Republican might win, turning off the party faithful. They say that could lead to a huge crossover vote in the August second general election or Republican voters staying home. This also has been a divisive campaign, especially among the four leading candidates.

But the four were on their best behavior at a GOP picnic this weekend in West Union. Jean Schmidt, Bob McEwen, Tom Brinkman and Pat DeWine steered clear of violating picnic honoree Ronald Reagan's "11th Commandment" - Thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican - even though some were pounding the airwaves doing just that.

The election is to fill the seat of Representative Rob Portman, who President Bush appointed as U.S. trade representative.

Six candidates are vying for the Democratic nomination.