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Thursday, October 04, 2007

OH-02 Democrat Vic Wulsin: Her New Campaign Chief Has History Of Taking GOP Seats

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Democrat Victoria Wulsin, who is running to grab a GOP congressional seat next year in Ohio's 2nd District, has hired a campaign manager who knows how to knock off Republicans. Josh Levin worked for Linda Holmes last year when the Democrat took a Chicago-area state senate seat that had long been held by a popular Republican, who retired to run for a judgeship. The Senate district, Illinois 42, is considered conservative territory, and includes suburbs and semi-rural communities.

Wulsin has to get by another Democrat, Steve Black, to win the nomination next March. She now has someone with experience on Republican turf in a critical post.

Levin also worked for U.S. Rep. Nancy Boyda in 2004, a year when the anti-war Kansas Democrat lost. But Boyda made enough headway she won the House seat last fall -- an upset win in that most GOP of states. Levin 29, is a University of Wisconsin grad, who comes from the Chicago area. He told The Daily Bellwether "there is no perfect formula" that a Democrat can use to win in a Republican district like OH-02, which is now held by U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt.

"You have to have a good candidate. You have to have the issues," he said, quickly adding that Schmidt's vote against the Children's Health Insurance Program, CHIP, would become a play issue.

"It's a very big deal. It was a bad vote. Jean Schmidt voted against a bipartisan bill. It's an issue where Jean Schmidt turned her back on a lot of kids. CHIP is a program that covers working people who can't buy health care on their own."

Last year, Levin's candidate was Linda Holmes, a moderate Democrat. The
Illinois Review in 2006 looked at that state Senate contest and figured the GOP's candidate was pro-life, had union support, and was running in a conservative area. Everything looked rosy.

"The 42nd District is located in prominently-conservative and Republican Will County [also Kane]. While all Chicago's collar counties are undergoing demographic changes and a couple of key Will County offices slid into the Democratic column two years ago, the 42nd District's political base continues to lean Republican. Terri's (Wintermute) Democratic opponent serves on the Kane County Board and is diametrically opposed o Terri on most social issues. A practicing Catholic, Terri is pro-life and holds to traditional family values, reflecting the same as the majority in her district."

That sounds a lot like Jean Schmidt -- pro-life, family values and Catholic in a conservative district. But it wasn't a formula for victory. Linda Holmes won and Wulsin now has an experienced hand from Chicagoland on her payroll.


  1. I worked with Levin on Boyda's 2004 race and, absolutely, he's capable and professional- everything you'd want in campaign manager in a race like OH-2.

  2. Keep an eye on this guy. He's going to be a legend some day. Carville, take notes.

  3. Levin is tough as hell and knows how to kick ass. This is going to be an interesting race to watch.

  4. PIPE DOWN! We don't want Schmidt to know she has this club in her bag. It's just one reasonable, qualified woman, more in line with her District, running against a wack-job incumbent. Let the voters figure it out.

    The redbeard host at Joe's.

  5. Hi Anon 11:24 a.m.:

    I think just about everybody knows it is going to be an interesting race between the two Republicans and the two Democrats in the primaries, and then the Dem and Repub in the general.

    It would have been interesting with or without Mr. Levin in town. As a matter of fact, it was already pretty damn interesting. Steve Black, who is running against Wulsin, is Republican who became a Democrat out of frustration with President Bush's policies. Nancy Boyda, for whome Levin worked in 2004, was a Republican who changed parties for similar reasons. So I wonder if that history precludes Wulsin/Levin from beating on Black as a party switcher.

  6. I've known Livin for years, he's carefull and smart beware Republican's