Thursday, February 21, 2002
Chabot foe drops out of election
Port Authority board member Martin balks at time commitment
By Ron Liebau
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Greg Martin, the endorsed Democratic candidate in the 1st Congressional District, will not run.
Mr. Martin said Wednesday that despite winning an endorsement just last week, he has decided not to oppose incumbent Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Ohio.
He said running would take too much time and he was unwilling to move to Cincinnati from Columbus, where his wife has a business.
It's too much of a commitment, he said.
Mr. Martin is a board member of the Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority and formerly of the Southwest Ohio Carpenters Union.
Defeating Mr. Chabot, a well-financed, four-term congressman from Westwood, would have been an uphill battle for Mr. Martin, who is known in labor circles but has never run for public office.
His short-lived candidacy underscored how difficult it is for the Democratic Party to unseat Mr. Chabot. Mr. Martin was the only person to seek Democratic Party endorsement.
Although today is the filing deadline in Ohio for the May primary, Tim Burke, co-chairman of the Hamilton County Democratic Party, said all is not lost for Democrats.
He does not have a replacement for Mr. Martin, but said the party will try to recruit someone by March 18 to file as a write-in candidate in the primary. If that person gets at least 50 votes, he can appear as a Democrat on the November ballot.
The withdrawal of an endorsed candidate is a blow to Democrats, who are having a hard time finding opponents for other Republican incumbents.
The endorsed candidate in the 2nd Congressional District, represented by Rep. Rob Portman, a Republican from Terrace Park, is former Waynesville mayor Charles Sanders. Mr. Sanders has lost twice to Mr. Portman.
Reapportionment moved Mr. Sanders out of the 2nd District, although district residency isn't a requirement.
Another Democratic candidate, Ray Mitchell of Dayton, has filed in the 2nd District, said the party's executive director, Melanie Bates.
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