Romney Aids Ohio GOP Candidates

Posted March 24, 2010 at 11:17am

Updated: 12:58 p.m.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R), a past and likely future candidate for president, is coming to the aid of Republican candidates who opposed the Democratic-written health care reform bill President Barack Obama signed into law Tuesday.

In the first wave of what Romney’s political action committee is calling “Prescription for Repeal,” Free and Strong America PAC announced Wednesday that it will send $2,500 checks to the campaigns of former Rep. Steve Chabot in the Cincinnati-area 1st district, Rep. Jean Schmidt in the Cincinnati-area 2nd district and former state Sen. Steve Stivers in the Columbus-area 15th district.

Chabot is challenging Rep. Steve Driehaus (D) in a rematch of a 2008 contest that Driehaus won by 5 points.

Schmidt’s district has a determined Republican lean, but she’s underperformed in her re-election contests. Surya Yalamanchili, a marketing executive, has secured endorsements from local Democratic officeholders ahead of a three-candidate primary on May 4. Schmidt has three primary opponents.

Stivers is running against Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy (D), who beat Stivers by about 2,300 votes in an open-seat race in 2008.

Romney’s move comes just as former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) named 20 Democratic-held districts as top targets in a Facebook post Tuesday night. She is encouraging her supporters to focus on organizing and mobilizing support in these specific districts.

“Come November, we’re going to print pink slips for Members of Congress as fast as they’ve been printing money,” Palin wrote.

Palin is targeting the following districts: Arkansas’ 2nd, Arizona’s 1st, Arizona’s 5th, Arizona’s 8th, Colorado’s 3rd, Colorado’s 4th, Florida’s 2nd, Florida’s 24th, Indiana’s 8th, Indiana’s 9th, North Dakota At-Large, Ohio’s 6th, Ohio’s 16th, Pennsylvania’s 3rd, Pennsylvania’s 10th, South Carolina’s 5th, Tennessee’s 6th, Virginia’s 5th, West Virginia’s 1st and West Virginia’s 3rd.

All of the districts were won by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in the 2008 presidential race, and all are represented by Democratic incumbents who voted in favor of health care reform legislation on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Palin will be in Arizona on Friday and Saturday to hit the campaign trail with McCain, her former running mate who is facing a primary challenge from former Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R).