An Ohio Democratic primary election took a strange turn Tuesday when a political nobody — literally — won after voters received a series of mysterious robocalls telling them to vote for William R. Smith, USA today reported.
Smith, who didn’t campaign or raise any money, beat out three-time candidate David Krikorian, who dished out $64,356 for his campaign and won endorsements from major Democratic groups in the 2nd Congressional District.
According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, the phone calls, which never mentioned Krikorian by name, featured a woman’s voice telling voters:
William Smith has an opponent that describes himself as a Reagan conservative. William Smith’s opponent was already sanctioned by the Ohio Elections Commission for not telling the truth. Please don’t make a mistake and embarrass the party. Vote for William Smith, the real Democrat for Congress. This has been paid for by the Victory Ohio super PAC.
But no one has been able to figure out what the “Victory Ohio super PAC” is. No such PAC has ever registered with the Federal Election Commission.
Federal government rules state that groups must, within 24 hours, report any last-minute activity to the FEC if they spend more than $1,000 on automated calls, mailing or advertising geared towards an election.
“An illegal act has taken place here,” the defeated Kirkorian told the Enquirer.
Smith told USA Today that he doesn’t know the source of the super PAC spending, but suspects it was Republicans who thought he would make an easy opponent for the GOP nominee, Brad Wenstrup.
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- David Krikorian