November 6, 2008 - The Turkish American community is celebrating the reelection of Jean Schmidt to represent the 2nd district of Ohio in the House of Representatives. Jean Schmidt faced a difficult campaign and personal attacks by the Armenian American independent candidate, David Krikorian.
In the weeks prior to the election, David Krikorian posted malicious lies on his website, falsely accusing Representative Schmidt of bribery. Accusations stated that Turkish Americans who had contributed to Rep. Schmidt’s campaign were offering bribes to ensure the Congresswoman oppose to the perennial “Armenian genocide” resolution in the House of Representatives. The Turkish American Legal Defense Fund has filed a criminal investigation request with Ohio Attorney General Nancy H. Rogers under Ohio law that criminalizes spreading intentional falsehoods to impact an election outcome.
Despite facing one of the nation’s ugliest smear campaigns, Representative Schmidt fought honorably throughout the election to ensure that her platform, not dirty politics, remained the primary focus for voters.
"On behalf of the Turkish American community, we offer our sincere congratulations to Congresswoman Schmidt," said G Lincoln McCurdy, President of TCA. " Although Congresswoman Schmidt came out victorious on Tuesday, one cannot help but acknowledge that the thuggery and intimidations that were rampant in this campaign could not prevail over the experience and the poise of Jean Schmidt. We hope that David Krikorian and the Armenian American community take note that Turkish Americans will not be intimidated from using their constitutional right of freedom expression and they will no longer endure these attacks in silence". McCurdy stated: "Contrary to those who do everything possible to deny Turkish Americans these rights, we will continue to stand strong and engage in a dignified, civil discourse on matters that concern Turkish American heritage and US-Turkey relations." He added: "Let there be no mistake, we will stand with our friends."