Wessel withdraws from primary to support anti-MAGA Heimlich in 2nd District race


This week, Democratic Congressional candidate Joe Wessels withdrew from Ohio’s 2nd Congressional District race to support Republican Phil Heimlich in the March 19 GOP primary.

“I’m a lifelong Democrat and I always will be. I got into this race for many reasons, but this one especially: Helping to save democracy and America,” Wessels said. “Electing Donald Trump for president, through his own words and promises, would end democracy and begin an autocracy in the greatest country on Earth. I need to do everything in my power to stop that from happening. This district is the most red in Ohio, so it’s an uphill battle for any Democrat. I’m supporting Phil Heimlich to protect our democracy and save our country. Full stop.”

With his withdrawal from the race, Wessels encourages his supporters and Southern Ohio voters of all political persuasions who value democracy to vote for Heimlich in the Republican primary.

“This is a time for all of us to put country over all else,” he said. “Phil is the only Republican in this very red district who will fight for Southern Ohioans and all Americans during these terrifying times for our country. He’s the only one of his kind left in the country, the only one running in this district, who is willing to stand up to the MAGA extremists and reclaim our democratic values. I respect that deeply.”

Heimlich, who is running against ten pro-Trump candidates, refers to himself as “The Anti-MAGA Republican.”

“Unlike my opponents, I value the peaceful transfer of power and prosecuting the insurrectionists who tried to overturn the 2020 election, as well as the political leaders who incited them to violence,” said Heimlich, a former assistant county prosecutor. “I have been crisscrossing Southern Ohio, and I hear you. I will fight for this area to ensure that the needs of the 2nd District are not ignored.”

Heimlich has written numerous opinion pieces criticizing fellow Republicans for supporting Trump’s toxic views in such publications as the Cincinnati Enquirer, Columbus Dispatch, Cleveland Plain Dealer, and USA Today. He has also appeared on CNN and other television and radio networks to promote this message.

While they disagree on many issues, Phil and Joe agree on some critical issues for Southern Ohio. Both agree the endless cycle of illegal drugs in this region must stop. Plus, inadequate infrastructure needs to be rebuilt, upgraded or added. Wessels and Heimlich agree these are federal issues, and Congress must not treat this area like “flyover country” or take 2nd District voters for granted.

“I know it might seem surprising and even disloyal for me to support a Republican,” Wessels said. “That’s not what matters most right now. We must do what’s necessary to counter the toxic MAGA movement. When Phil gets elected, he’ll be the only pro-democracy Republican in Congress. We need him in Washington. Plain and simple.”

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