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Republican Rep. Brad Wenstrup Wins Fifth Bid For U.S. House

brad wenstrup
Andrew Harnik

Ohio Rep. Brad Wenstrup has won a fifth term in the U.S. House over Democratic challenger Jaime Castle, with Tuesday night results showing the 62-year-old Cincinnati resident with 60% of the vote.

Wenstrup has one of the more interesting resumes in Congress. He is a podiatric surgeon who joined the U.S. Army Reserves, rose to the rank of colonel and ran the military hospital at Abu Ghraib in Iraq. He made national news in 2017 when a gunman opened fire on a group of Republican congressmen as they practiced for the annual Congressional baseball game. Wenstrup ran out onto the field and applied a tourniquet to then-House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, whose injuries were the most serious. Scalise credits Wenstrup with saving his life.

As a congressman, he has been a reliable vote for the Trump administration.

This was the first foray into politics for Castle, a Mount Washington mother of two who works as a substitute teacher and seamstress. When she first considered the possibility of taking on Wenstrup in Ohio's 2nd Congressional District, she met with someone who had recently been through a tough congressional campaign: Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Aftab Pureval, who despite a strong initial showing, bumbled his campaign against OH-1 Congressman Steve Chabot in 2018.

Over several decades, Republicans like Willis Gradison, Rob Portman, Jean Schmidt and now Wenstrup have kept a grip on the 2nd District largely because Clermont County is a GOP firewall.

-Additional reporting by Howard Wilkinson

Jennifer Merritt brings 20 years of "tra-digital" journalism experience to WVXU.