PDT Staff Writer
Dr. Brad Wenstrup will replace Jean Schmidt as the member of Congress from Ohio’s Second District, part of which is in Scioto County. Wenstrup, who defeated Schmidt in the Republican primary, beat little-known William Smith, who made it to the general election by defeating David Krikorian in the Democratic primary.
“I think people saw that they had an opportunity for a candidate that has actually run a business, and is running for congress without needing a job,” Wenstrup told the Portsmouth Daily Times Tuesday night. “In other words, out there trying to make it happen, and just because of love of country. That’s exactly where I am. When I would go around, I would talk about how I have been in health care, and I have been in the military, and have run a business. And I think that resonated with a lot of people. They had somebody of a different ilk coming to try and serve.”
Can he work across the aisle to break some of the Washington gridlock?
“I think we’re going to have to if we’re going to succeed as a nation. We’re going to have to try to work together as a nation. And I want to sit down with anybody who wants to turn the economy around,” Wenstrup said. “One of the problems that we’ve seen is that it doesn’t help with the Senate doesn’t pass a budget, and the president’s budget is not voted for by anyone from his own party, and it’s hard for the House to negotiate from there. Hopefully that is going to change one way or the other regardless of who wins the presidency tonight.”
As of 10:30 p.m., Wenstrup had garnered 131,909 votes to Smith’s 89,161, a difference of 60 percent to 40 percent.
Scioto County went against the rest of the district, with Smith picking up 8,288 votes to Wenstrup’s 5,825 votes.
Voters in Ohio’s Sixth District, which also serves part of Scioto County, returned Republican incumbent Bill Johnson to Washington. Johnson defeated the same man he defeated two years ago, Charlie Wilson. Johnson, like Wenstrup, campaigned against federal spending, also embracing many of the conservative issues. Johnson said there were key issues that led to his early lead.
“Jobs, the economy, the health care law, the war on coal,” Johnson told the Times Tuesday night. “Those are the three big ones.”
Johnson said the early numbers did not look favorable for Republicans in key Senate races.
“It’s certainly not looking good in the Senate at this point. We’re still holding out hope for some help at the White House, but we’ll see what happens.”
What’s the first order of business for the new term?
“First order of business is to work to put in regulatory reform,” Johnson said. “The tax code reform, so that Americans get to keep more of what they earn, let businesses keep more of what they earn, continue our efforts to repeal Obamacare, and to try to get this country back on track.”
Johnson said there Congress can’t look past the rest of this year.
“In between now and January, however, we have to worry about the fiscal cliff, we’ve got sequestration, we’ve got tax hikes that are going into effect. There’s a lot of hard work ahead of us between now and January,” Johnson said. “We’re going to have to have some cooperation from the Senate.”
At 10:30 p.m. Johnson had 53 percent of the vote to Wilson’s 47 percent - 131,471 to 114,355. Johnson also carried Scioto County, 7,542 to 6,976.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at firstname.lastname@example.org