CINCINNATI (TDB) -- The Hamilton County Republican Party has voted overwhelmingly to endorse U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt, a decision that likely dims chances two GOP challengers can knock her off in the March primary. A source who was at the meeting Friday evening sent this e-mail to The Daily Bellwether:
"I want to remain anonymous.2nd District: Schmidt got 69 votes. Heimlich got 33 votes. Brinkman got either 4 or 6 votes. I think 4, but somebody else reported to me that it was 6. It was overwhelming. Brinkman and Heimlich each went negative on Schmidt. She never mentioned either Tom or Phil and conveyed a positive message. Overall, a huge victory for Schmidt."
The endorsement means money and campaign workers. It is probably crucial for a GOP candidate, though some have bucked the party and won. Her opponents are Tom Brinkman, a term-limited state representative, and Phil Heimlich, a former Hamilton County Commissioner who lost a reelection bid in 2006 to Democrat David Pepper. Brinkman is leading a rosary procession today from Cincinnati City Hall to Fountain Square, an event that peacefully and prayerfully uses the Catholic tradition of seeking intervention from Mary to halt the practice of abortion in the United States.
Schmidt, meanwhile, campaigned in Cincinnati. She showed up for the swearing in ceremony of Hamilton County Municipal Court Judge Dwane Mallory, heir to a Democratic political dynasty and was introduced to the throng. She stood and waved and got a nice round of applause. All in all, the Cincy GOP endorsement seems to have ended a good day for the Clermont County congresswoman.