Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Roeding fights off challenge in 11th Senate District

Boone vote hands incumbent easy win

By Patrick Crowley
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Boone votesKenton votes
Roeding 3,948 3,373 575
Walton 2,971 2,822 149
BURLINGTON - Overcoming a territorial disadvantage, state Sen. Dick Roeding cruised to an easy victory in Tuesday's 11th Senate District GOP primary.

Roeding, of Lakeside Park in Kenton County, was challenged by state Rep. Charlie Walton of Florence in Boone County. Even though Boone County accounts for the vast majority of voters, Roeding, the No. 2 ranking Senate Republican in Frankfort, was able to overcome Walton's home-court advantage.

"I'm overwhelmed," Roeding said from a victory party at his home. "It was strictly a team effort all the way through."

"A great victory," was how former Boone County Republican Party Chairman Ed Moore described Roeding's win.

Since he began talking about taking on Roeding more than a year ago, Walton has taken heat from the GOP hierarchy for daring to run against Roeding.

Walton further angered the Republican establishment by blaming Roeding, Senate President David Williams and other members of the General Assembly leadership for the budget impasse in Frankfort.

Williams used his clout to campaign against Walton and, over the final weekend, Republicans in the district received an automated phone call in support of Roeding from Gov. Ernie Fletcher.

The 11th Senate District covers Boone and Gallatin counties and a sliver of Kenton County's Dixie Highway suburbs. A huge majority of nearly 30,000 GOP voters lives in Boone County, where Walton has lived for years.

Walton built his campaign around giving Boone its own seat in the state Senate. He also portrayed Roeding as ineffective and unable to secure badly needed dollars to build new Boone County schools.

But Roeding said the victory shows that Boone County Republicans have confidence in his leadership.

The Democrats did not run a candidate, giving Roeding another four-year term that begins in January.

Chris Mayhew contributed. E-mail

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