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  Republican Edges Out Iraq Veteran for Ohio [2nd] Congress Seat
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ContributorArmyDem 
Last EditedArmyDem  Aug 03, 2005 01:26am
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MediaNewspaper - New York Times
News DateWednesday, August 3, 2005 09:25:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionBy JAMES DAO
Published: August 3, 2005

CINCINNATI, Aug 2 - A former Republican state legislator narrowly won a special Congressional election in southern Ohio on Tuesday, ending an underdog bid by her Democratic opponent to become the first combat veteran from the Iraq war to serve in Congress.

With all of the precincts reporting, Jean Schmidt, the Republican, had nearly 52 percent of the vote, edging out her challenger, Paul L. Hackett, a major in the Marine Forces Reserve, by about 4,000 votes.

"Voters declared that they support our president and approve of his leadership," Ms. Schmidt, 53, told supporters gathered at a suburban Holiday Inn late Tuesday evening. "They want us to stay the course so the enemies of freedom cannot bring their terrorism to our shores again."

But Mr. Hackett's showing was unexpectedly strong in this district, a Republican bastion that snakes along the Ohio River from affluent Cincinnati suburbs to struggling Appalachian hamlets. President Bush won the district with 64 percent of the vote last year, and Republicans have held its Congressional seat for two decades.

"Tonight was a victory for democracy," Mr. Hackett, 43, told supporters at a downtown Cincinnati theater. "People had a real choice." Mr. Hackett has said he expects to sign up for another tour of duty in Iraq, possibly next summer.
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