Mystery Man For Congress

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Friday, March 9, 2012 - 3:58pm

Winner of Ohio Democratic primary is unknown to both the party and the media.

William Smith gave his first campaign interview Wednesday, following his apparent victory in Ohio's 2nd Congressional District Democratic primary.

Despite doing little more than filing the paperwork to run against David Krikorian, who's run twice before for the 2nd Congressional District seat, Smith received nearly 60 more votes.

No one is more surprised than he is.

"I knew it would take a miracle because I haven't really done anything," said Smith in a phone interview. He'd ignored previous requests for campaign information or photos.

Caleb Faux, executive director of Hamilton County's Democratic Party, said he knows little about Smith.

"I've never met him, I've never spoken with him," Faux said. "I know he's from the eastern end of the district."

Smith, a 61-year-old long-distance trucker from Pike County, purchased no advertisements and did little campaigning of any sort.

So how did he win?

"There was a robo-call reaching voters that promoted William Smith and used the names of Senator Sherrod Brown and President Obama," Faux said.

Faux said he believes those automated calls were paid for by a "super PAC," or a political action committee that's permitted to raise unlimited sums from individuals, corporations, unions and other groups to spend on campaigns, so long as they do not coordinate their efforts with candidates.

Faux said he has no way of knowing whether Smith's victory was the result of a Republican dirty trick, but the candidate himself offers a less cynical explanation.

"I think the politicians and pundits don't give the common people credit," Smith said.

If Smith's victory withstands a certain recount, he would face another surprise winner - Republican Brad Wenstrup, who upset Rep. Jean Schmidt - in November's election.
 

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