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Published: Wednesday, 3/3/2004

9th U.S. Congressional: Kaczala secures showdown with Kaptur

Lucas County Auditor Larry Kaczala breezed to victory over two opponents last night in the race for the Republican nomination in Ohio s 9th Congressional District.

He will face 11-term incumbent Democrat Marcy Kaptur of Toledo in the Nov. 2 general election.

Mr. Kaczala was winning with an unofficial 51 percent of the vote, compared to 37 percent for Ed Emery, a former sociologist with the city, and 11 percent for Luis T.J. Leal, a Toledo businessman.

Mr. Kaczala said last night he spent most of his campaign efforts in the eastern three counties of the district - Ottawa, Erie, and Lorain - because he felt he was already well known as a longtime officeholder in Lucas County.

“I wanted to make sure people knew who I was and what I stand for. Ed has been on the ballot out there.”

But Mr. Emery was proving to be a strong contender in Erie and Lorain counties, narrowly edging Mr. Kaczala in both, unofficial results showed.

Mr. Emery ran two years ago against Miss Kaptur, capturing a significant percentage of the vote Lorain and Erie counties.

The majority of voters in the district, however, reside in Lucas County.

Mr. Kaczala estimated the fall campaign would cost $1 million to try and unseat Miss Kaptur, who has a war chest in excess of $800,000, according to the Federal Election Commission.

Mr. Kaczala said his fund-raising should increase dramatically now that he has won the primary. He said some supporters told him they felt they could not contribute until after yesterday s primary.

“We win the primary and they will send the checks,” he said.

Upcoming fund-raising events are scheduled for Washington and Toledo, he said.

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