Democratic infighting mars efforts to take down Rep. Schmidt

Democratic efforts to take down Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio) are crashing and burning this cycle.

The party lost its chosen candidate in the race, state Rep. Todd Book, in late 2009, and now the new frontrunner, David Krikorian, is being rebuked from all sides by his own party a week before the primary.

Democratic chairmen from the state party, Hamilton County and Clermont County have all sent letters to Krikorian faulting him for comments he reportedly made about another primary candidate's Indian name. According to reports, he suggested the candidate, Surya Yalamanchili, stood no chance as the party's nominee because of his name.

"We are a party that proudly values diversity and inclusiveness,” state party chairman Chris Redfern wrote to Krikorian. “Your words fall short of these ideals.”

The story of Krikorian and the Democratic Party is a long and torturous one. He might well have cost the party the seat in 2008 by taking 18 percent of the vote running as an independent, while Schmidt beat Democrat Victoria Wulsin with just a plurality -- 45 percent.

When he announced he would run as a Democrat this cycle, the reaction was hardly one of embrace. Even though Krikorian was the most successful independent federal candidate in the country in 2008, the party wanted nothing to do with him and instead recruited Book.

When that didn't work out, the race essentially fell off the party's radar. Though it began the cycle as a top target, when the party announced a list of 26 targets in January, Schmidt's seat was nowhere to be seen.

By going after one of their own, Democratic leaders are basically throwing in the towel on this one. Yalamanchili has raised less than $70,000 for the primary and doesn't appear to be a serious competitor in a district that went 59 percent for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).