Monday, September 03, 2001

GOP left with one opponent to Lucas


Mike Wiley drops out of race for Congress

By Patrick Crowley
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        FLORENCE — Abandoning a campaign that never seemed to take hold, Republican Mike Wiley has dropped out of the 4th U.S. House Republican primary.

        Mr. Wiley's departure leaves just one GOP candidate — Boone County businessman Geoff Davis — to run against Democratic incumbent Congressman Ken Lucas in next year's election.

        Mr. Davis has not formally entered the race but local Republican Party officials expect him to announce his candidacy in mid- to late September.

        No other Republicans have expressed an interest in running against Mr. Lucas, a two-term Democrat who often votes with the GOP in Congress.

        A former radio talk-show host from Florida, Mr. Wiley moved to Florence about a year ago. He works at a Cincinnati construction firm and said he is leaving the race “for a better candidate that I am confident will come forward.”

        “I joined this race when more established Republi cans chose not to run,” Mr. Wiley said. “(But) if defeating Ken Lucas means a campaign without a primary, resulting in a united more balanced attack, then let me fire the first salvo.

        “The best thing for the country is to defeat Ken Lucas and the rest of the Democrats,” he said.

        In a statement Mr. Davis said he appreciates “the difficult decision” Mr. Wiley had to make in getting out of the race.

        “I wish him the best,” Mr. Davis said.

        Though Mr. Wiley attended a number of Republican Party events, local GOP contributors and activists did not embrace his candidacy despite some political experience he gleaned in Florida.

        When Mr. Wiley lived in Florida he entered the 1994 U.S. Senate primary against Hugh Rodham, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's brother.

        He lost the race but carried about half of Florida's counties.

       



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