CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Less than a week after losing the Hamilton County GOP endorsement to U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt, Phil Heimlich has folded his campaign for the OH-02 nomination. The former County Commissioner quit today and said the endorsement and State Rep. Tom Brinkman's "late entry" in the contest forced him out.
"Mr. Brinkman's candidacy serves no purpose other than to assure Representative Schmidt's renomination. There is no reason to put the Republican Party through a tough primary when victory isn't possible. To do so would only lead to the ultimate benefit of the Democratic Party and its liberal agenda."
Heimlich was defeated in November 2006 by David Pepper. He briefly partnered with former GOP attorney general Jim Petro as Petro's lieutenant governor running mate in 2006 , but left that spot to run for reelection to the commission. Petro was clobbered by Ken Blackwell. Heimlich is a lawyer and may return to the practice of law. His political career clearly is in shambles. So far, no reaction from Brinkman, a conservative like Heimlich. Brinkman, who is term-limited from the state House, benefits from the withdrawal.