(March 13)  With almost all candidates in contested Republican primaries nationwide frenetically trying to associate themselves with former President Donald Trump, one stands out for openly doing the opposite.

In a 12-way Republican race to replace retiring Republican Rep. Brad Wenstrup in Ohio’s 2nd Congressional District, longtime local official Phil Heimlich is running in the state’s March 19 primary as an unabashed critic of Trump, on multiple grounds.

“In effect, Trump tried to overthrow our government,” Heimlich told me. “What he did was in a sense a coup d’etat: he tried to overthrow a valid election and inspired a mob to attack our Capitol.”

Heimlich said Trump’s coup involved much more than just the Jan. 6 riot. “It was the pressure on the Justice Department. It was the threats to the Georgia and Michigan state officials. The pressure he put on [Vice President] Mike Pence. The false electors. This was a combination of efforts to, in effect, overthrow the [incoming] government of the United States.”

The Ohioan’s criticisms of Trump don’t stop there.

“I am 100% behind supporting Ukraine,” Heimlich said. “If Ronald Reagan came back and saw members of his party praising Vladimir Putin or encouraging him to attack our allies … he would hang his head in shame. … [Trump] is friendlier to Putin than he is to our democratic allies.”….

Heimlich’s family is accustomed to fighting establishments. His father, thoracic surgeon Henry Heimlich, was the discoverer of the famous, eponymous abdominal thrust “maneuver” that since 1974 has been used to save the lives of countless people choking on food or other objects.

“When he invented the Heimlich maneuver, he faced incredible opposition from the Red Cross and many medical authorities,” Phil Heimlich said about his father. “But he had the courage to stand up for what he thought was right. And the result is so many lives saved.”…. [The full column is here.]


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