Friday, September 12, 2008

Chillicothe Gazette: "Schmidt gets support from Turkish community"

By MALIA RULON • Gazette Washington Bureau • September 12, 2008
WASHINGTON - Rep. Jean Schmidt has become a darling of the Turkish community.
Schmidt is not Turkish, and there aren't many Turks in her southern Ohio district. There are just 3,159 in the state, including 297 in the 2nd Congressional District, according to the last census.
She is being challenged for her seat in Congress by an Armenian-American, David Krikorian, a Madeira businessman who is running as an independent. Schmidt also faces Democrat Victoria Wulsin, who is challenging Schmidt for a second time.

"Jean's been a big supporter of the U.S.' closest alley in the Middle East and Mediterranean region and has done everything she can to make sure our relations stay solid with them," campaign spokesman Bruce Pfaff said in response to questions about Schmidt's ties to the Turkish community.
G. Lincoln McCurdy, who is treasurer of the Turkish Coalition USA PAC, said Schmidt first appeared on the PAC's radar after she was harassed by Armenian groups for opposing a House resolution that recognizes the Armenian genocide.

"The Turkish community thought we should support her, because of this harassment. ... that's the primary reason why the Turkish-Americans have been supporting her," McMurdy said.

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