Tuesday, January 30, 2001

Kenton attorney carries on challenge

Deters will face Edmondson in primary

By Patrick Crowley
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        FORT MITCHELL — Kenton County attorney candidate Eric Deters has reacted quickly to the political party switch announced last week by incumbent County Attorney Garry Edmondson.

        Mr. Edmondson, a Fort Wright resident who plans to run for re-election next year, revealed Friday that he has switched from Democrat to Republican after two terms.

        The move means there will be at least a two-candidate GOP county attorney primary in May 2002 — between Mr. Deters, who announced his candidacy more than a year ago, and Mr. Edmondson.

        Mr. Deters, an Independence Republican who operates a private law office in Fort Mitchell, announced Monday that he will hold a campaign fund-raiser next month at the Drawbridge Inn, a Fort Mitchell hotel and conference center operated by his family.

        Details are still being worked out, but the March 22 event will run from 5 to 7 p.m. Lexington lawyer Larry Forgy, a veteran Republican Party activist who has run for governor and state Supreme Court justice, will be the featured speaker.

        In an interview Monday, Mr. Deters said he is also busy putting his campaign plan and team together and is close to hiring a full-time campaign manager.

        “I'm excited about the campaign,” Mr. Deters said. “I'm focusing on raising money and getting organized. I feel good about things.”

        Mr. Edmondson had no comment Monday.

        But Brandon Voelker, a GOP strategist and lawyer who works for Mr. Edmondson, said Mr. Deters is apparently shaken by Mr. Edmondson's move to the Republican Party.

        “I can't speak for what Eric does, but a lot of it is reactionary in nature,” Mr. Voelker said Mon day.

        Mr. Deters said he has a built-in advantage over Mr. Edmondson because of his involvement in the Republican Party.

        Mr. Deters formerly served as chairman of the Kenton County Republican Party, chaired the campaign of 4th District U.S. House candidate Don Bell last year, and contributed money to George W. Bush's presidential campaign.

        “I even used my law office for a George W. Bush phonebank in last year's election,” Mr. Deters said.

        “I'm going to be able to show a whole list of things I've done to support the Republican Party ... while Garry Edmondson was still a Democrat.”


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