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2753Kucinich, Paul win primary contests

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  • Greg Cannon
    Mar 5, 2008

      Kucinich, Paul win primary contests

      By: Josh Kraushaar
      Mar 5, 2008 08:28 AM EST

      Two congressmen running long-shot bids for the
      presidency comfortably prevailed in last night’s
      primaries despite facing upstart primary challengers.

      Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) easily defeated a
      well-funded Cleveland city councilor, Joe Cimperman,
      and three other Democratic challengers.

      Kucinich defeated Cimperman by a 50 to 35 percent
      margin. Three other Democrats — North Olmstead Mayor
      Tom O’Grady, anti-war activist Rosemary Palmer and
      2006 candidate Barbara Ferris — split the remainder of
      the vote.

      Cimperman attacked Kucinich for neglecting the needs
      of his Cleveland constituents while running a quixotic
      campaign for president. He was the first candidate to
      air television ads parodying Kucinich’s absence from
      the district.

      But Kucinich quickly abandoned his presidential bid to
      focus on the newly-competitive Congressional race, and
      his last-minute efforts paid off. He raised over
      $700,000 in the last two months, tapping into his
      large national donor base.

      Kucinich will be facing former GOP state Rep. Jim
      Trakas in the general election.

      Meanwhile, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) handily defeated
      his Republican rival, Friendswood City Councilman
      Chris Peden, in tonight’s primary and will be heading
      back to Congress for another term.

      Paul defeated Peden by a 70 percent to 30 percent

      Paul had drawn fire from conservatives in the district
      for his strident opposition to the Iraq war during his
      long-shot presidential bid. But Peden ultimately
      wasn’t able to raise enough money and organize
      effectively to end up mounting a serious challenge.

      In another contested Republican primary in Texas,
      Bexar County Commissioner Lyle Larson scored an upset
      victory self-funded attorney Quico Canseco despite
      being outspent by a significant margin.

      Larson won 62 percent of the vote to Canseco’s 38
      percent. He will face freshman Rep. Ciro Rodriguez
      (D-Texas), who is one of the top Republican targets
      for the fall.

      Dermatologist Shelley Sekula Gibbs will face Pete
      Olson, Sen. John Cornyn's former chief of staff, in an
      April 8 runoff for the GOP nomination in Texas' 22nd
      District. With 92 percent of precincts reporting,
      Sekula Gibbs won 29 percent of the vote while Olson
      took 23 percent of the vote. The winner of the runoff
      will face Rep. Nick Lampson (D-Tex.) in the general

      In other Ohio primaries, Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio)
      defeated state Rep. Tom Brinkman with 56 percent of
      the vote. She will face physician Victoria Wulsin, her
      2006 opponent, in the general election.

      Rep. Zack Space (D-Ohio) will be facing GOP former
      state Agriculture Commissioner Fred Dailey in the
      general election. Dailey narrowly defeated three other
      primary rivals.

      And in the seat to be vacated by retiring Rep. Ralph
      Regula (R-Ohio), state senator Kirk Schuring defeated
      Ashland County Commissioner Matt Miller by a 47 to 42
      percent margin in the GOP primary, with all precincts

      Schuring will face Democratic state senator John
      Boccieri, considered one of the Democrats' stronger recruits.