- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 19, 2004

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Setting up what promises to be an uphill struggle against two popular incumbents, little-known candidates won their parties’ nominations to take on Sen. Jim Bunning, Kentucky Republican, and Sen. Blanche Lincoln, Arkansas Democrat, in November.

In Oregon, Republicans chose a challenger to try to oust Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat.

In other races, Republicans in Kentucky chose a candidate to take on actor George Clooney’s father for a seat in the U.S. House, and Oregon voters considered whether to re-elect two county commissioners who had decided in secret to allow same-sex “marriages.”

In the Senate race in Kentucky, state Sen. Daniel Mongiardo, a Democrat, was picked to challenge Mr. Bunning, winning 65 percent of the vote.

Mr. Bunning, a Hall of Fame pitcher looking to win a second term, has raised $4.6 million so far. The Republican had only token opposition Tuesday.

Earlier this year, Mr. Bunning’s campaign apologized after he said at a Republican Party dinner that Mr. Mongiardo, the son of Italian immigrants, looked like one of Saddam Hussein’s sons. The campaign said the remark was a joke.

In Arkansas, state Sen. Jim Holt, a Republican, beat out two other candidates for the chance to challenge Mrs. Lincoln, a first-term senator who has raised more than $5 million for her re-election campaign.

Mrs. Lincoln is seeking to keep a seat that has had only four occupants since 1932, including Dale Bumpers and J. William Fulbright.

Al King, a Republican rancher, won his party’s nomination to face the popular Mr. Wyden, who has held his Senate seat since a special election in 1996 to replace Sen. Bob Packwood.

In other primaries:

Geoff Davis, a manufacturing consultant, was picked by Republicans to take on Nick Clooney, a media personality in the Cincinnati area and the father of former “ER” star George Clooney.

In Oregon, Iranian-American Goli Ameri won the Republican nomination to challenge Rep. David Wu, a Democrat who is running for a fourth term in Congress and remains the favorite in November.

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