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Bob Ney, Jean Schmidt and Kenneth Blackwell prevail in Republican primaries.

Published May 3, 2006 1:05PM (EDT)

From the "It's Good to Be an Incumbent" Department comes news that Ohio Reps. Bob Ney and Jean Schmidt won their Republican primaries Tuesday night.

Ney, identified as the corrupt "Representative No. 1" in court filings in the Jack Abramoff case, received nearly twice as many votes as his closest challenger in the Republican primary. He'll face Democrat Zach Space in November -- if a widening probe into Ney's Abramoff dealings doesn't force him to resign first.

Schmidt, who made a name for herself by defeating Paul Hackett in a special election, insulting Jack Murtha on the House floor and making campaign claims that got her reprimanded by an Ohio elections commission, survived a strong challenge from former Rep. Bob McEwen. Although McEwen conceded Tuesday night when returns put him down by a 48-42 percent margin, his campaign manager said early this morning that he would challenge the results. "It's our feeling that for the fourth straight election in a row, voters have witnessed irregularities in the voting process in Clermont County," McEwen campaign manager Ed Jenkins told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "Naturally, this creates suspicion in the integrity of the overall electoral process that merits further evaluation."

Speaking of voting irregularities, Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell cruised to a win in the Republican gubernatorial primary, setting up a general election run against Democratic Rep. Ted Strickland.

And Democrats hoping to hold on to Strickland's seat in Congress dodged a bullet when their most-likely-to-succeed candidate, state Sen. Charlie Wilson, prevailed through a write-in campaign made necessary by his failure to submit the 50 signatures required to get a spot on the regular ballot.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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