What could have been: Veteran progressive champion versus hot new upstart in a hotly contested primary sure to capture the hearts and minds of statewide Dems. Winning candidate goes on to gain massive support from the Dem/Progressive base in Ohio in defeating Mike DeWine.

What we got: Veteran progressive champion versus complete nutcase who wants gays sentenced to death and the world converted to Christianity. Veteran wins the nomination easily but struggles to enliven the base and manages to rip defeat from the jaws of victory despite attempting to ride the coattails of another prominent ticket colleague.

from advocate.com:

Ohio senate candidate wants gays dead

When Iraq war veteran and same-sex marriage supporter Paul Hackett dropped out of Ohio’s Democratic Senatorial race last month, he was replaced by truck driver Merrill Keiser Jr., who says gays should get the death penalty. In an interview with the Sandusky Register, Keiser, who filed for candidacy within days of Hackett’s withdrawal, said he wouldn’t be against making homosexuality a felony punishable by the death penalty.

He also suggested making “conversion to Christianity” part of the “war on terror,” to “teach Muslims the error of their choice in religion.” Keiser added that if a person believes in evolution, he or she “has no rights.”

Reportedly, Keiser is running as a Democrat because “that’s what he was the last time he voted.” He will face the heavily-favored Sherrod Brown in the May primary. (Sirius OutQ News)

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