Wednesday, March 3, 2004

Blessing, Brinkman win GOP House votes



By Reid Forgrave
The Cincinnati Enquirer

COMPLETE COVERAGE
Cincinnati.com Special Election Coverage
Experienced Republican state lawmakers conquered aspiring new blood Tuesday in the GOP primaries for two state House of Representatives districts in Hamilton County, unofficial election returns show.

• With all precinct results in, 29th district Republican voters chose longtime state senator and representative Lou Blessing over aspirants Keith Corman and John Waksmundski. Blessing garnered 53 percent of the vote, Corman 29 percent, and Waksmundski 18 percent.

The 29th district includes Colerain Township, Springfield Township, Mt. Healthy and several other western Hamilton County communities.

Blessing will face former Colerain Township Trustee Joseph Wolterman, a Democrat and a close friend, in the November election.

• In the 34th state House district, voters emphatically chose two-term state Rep. Tom Brinkman over attorney Greg Delev. Brinkman garnered 63 percent of the vote to Delev's 37 percent, with all precinct results counted.

The 34th district, one of the richest House districts in the state, includes eastern Hamilton County communities like Anderson Township, Mount Lookout and Hyde Park.

A Democrat, Glen Miller of Anderson Township, will run against Brinkman in the general election.

"I had no doubt the voters would continue to support me," Brinkman said Tuesday while at a victory party at Million's Cafe on Mt. Lookout Square. "I'm going to go up there to Columbus and continue to raise hell and try to correct all these wrongs that have been done in our state."

GOP candidates in the two districts all had one overriding theme in common - a desire for less government in everyday life.

Blessing, a state senator who is losing his post to term limits, wants to continue his more than two-decade-long stay in Columbus, shooting for the legislative body which he was a member of between 1983 and 1996. Blessing is trying to switch seats with current 29th District Rep. Patricia Clancy, who is running for Blessing's Senate seat.

"The House is going to be interesting, a lot of rookies in there because of the term limits," Blessing said Tuesday evening. "Let's just say I'd be in a mentoring and monitoring phase. There won't be anybody in the House with half the amount of experience that I have."

He was challenged by Corman, a Colerain Township trustee and chairman of the county's Community Compass project, and Waksmundski, a Springfield Township clerk and a retired Wyoming High School teacher.

In the 34th District, Delev, of Anderson Township, challenged the incumbent state representative Brinkman, of Mount Lookout, saying the second-term lawmaker isn't effective. Brinkman boasts about being an independent Republican, saying the only constituent he serves is the 34th District.

E-mail rforgrave@enquirer.com




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