William R. Smith is the invisible candidate. No one has seen him; no one has heard him speak. Outside of his home county of Pike, there is probably no Democrat who could recognize him on sight. Tuesday, the Waverly resident won – barely – the popular vote in the 2nd District’s Democratic primary, while Brad Wenstrup was busy in the Republican primary upending a GOP incumbent member of Congress, Jean Schmidt. He came out ahead of Madeira’s David Krikorian, who ran against Schmidt as an independent in 2008, by a scant 59 votes out of slightly over 20,000 cast. Once the official count is done later this month, there may well be an automatic recount. “I have never seen. I don’t know him,” Krikorian said Wednesday. He blamed his loss on a mysterious SuperPAC that may have paid for calls for Smith and other Democrats.
There is no evidence that Smith campaigned a lick. “William Smith could knock on my front door and I would think he was some guy trying to sell me something,’’ said Dave Lane, the Democratic Party chairman in Clermont County, the second-largest county in the 2nd Congressional District. “I have never laid eyes on him,’’ Lane said.
Smith, 61, did not respond to The Enquirer’s inquiries for information about his candidacy during the campaign. He did not have a campaign web site.