Ney’s de­ci­sion

The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

Rep. Bob Ney for­mally re­quested Aug. 14 that his name be re­moved from the Novem­ber elec­tion bal­lot in Ohio, en­sur­ing that a spe­cial pri­mary elec­tion will be held to re­place the em­bat­tled Repub­li­can.

His let­ter of­fi­cially no­ti­fy­ing elec­tion of­fi­cials ends spec­u­la­tion about whether he would wait un­til af­ter Aug. 19, when party lead­ers would have been able to ap­point a re­place­ment.

Mr. Ney an­nounced he would with­draw from the race two weeks ago, cit­ing the strain of an in­ten­si­fy­ing cor­rup­tion in­ves­ti­ga­tion that had fo­cused for months on his deal­ings with lob­by­ists. The six­term con­gress­man de­nies any wrong­do­ing and has not been charged.

Democrats tar­geted Mr. Ney’s seat in the wake of the Jack Abramoff lob­by­ing scan­dal. Mr. Ney’s cam­paign be­gan hem­or­rhag­ing money af­ter his for­mer chief of staff pleaded guilty to con­spir­ing to cor­rupt the con­gress­man, and the Jus­tice De­part­ment sub­poe­naed Ney aides in Ohio and Wash­ing­ton.

Democrats hope Mr. Ney’s le­gal trou­bles will help them gain one of the 15 seats they need this fall to take con­trol of the House, the As­so­ci­ated Press re­ports.

Ohio Repub­li­can Party Chair­man Bob Ben­nett said he spoke to Mr. Ney the morn­ing of Aug. 14 about the de­ci­sion to have a pri­mary in­stead of let­ting lo­cal party of­fi­cials choose a new can­di­date.

“He told me he re­ally thought the vot­ers of the dis­trict should make the de­ci­sion in se­lect­ing the can­di­date, rather than the party chair­men,” Mr. Ben­nett said.

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