COLUMBUS, Ohio - Fourth-term U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt has conceded the Republican primary in Ohio's 2nd Congressional District to an Iraq war veteran.
Schmidt issued a statement saying she had phoned Army combat surgeon Brad Wenstrup to congratulate him on his win. Wenstrup was holding a six-point lead with 99 percent of precincts reporting.
Below is her statement:
I want to thank everyone who supported me since I became the first woman elected to represent Southern Ohio in Congress in 2005. I want to thank them for their friendship. I want to thank them for their faith in me.
I called Brad Wenstrup to congratulate him, but couldn't reach him. I left a message on his voice mail. I said: "Congratulations. I wish you the best. God bless."
We are Republicans, and we have to move forward in November.
I will continue to work hard through the end of the year to represent the interests and the conservative values of the people of Southern Ohio. I will continue to be their strong voice in our nation's capital.
Three other candidates trailed.
Democrat William Smith was leading the Democratic primary to oppose Wenstrup in the southern Ohio district that stretches east from Cincinnati into Appalachia.
Schmidt was first elected in a 2005 special election to succeed Rob Portman. Portman is now a U.S. senator.
Wenstrup was an unsuccessful nominee in the Cincinnati mayoral race in which Democrat Mark Mallory won re-election in 2009. He said he wants to change government, cut spending and empower small businesses.
"I'm honored that the voters heard our message of change. Change that includes strong, ethical leadership. Change that also includes reforming government, cutting spending and unleashing small business owners so they can create jobs," said Wenstrup in a statement released after his victory.
The 2nd Congressional District includes seven counties and stretches from downtown Cincinnati to Scioto County.