In Ohio, Kap­tur led Kucinich in pri­mary af­ter re­dis­trict­ing

The Washington Times Daily - - Politics - BY AN­DREA BILLUPS

In Ohio, U.S. Rep. Marcy Kap­tur led 52 to 44 per­cent with 53 per­cent of the votes counted in a re-elec­tion bid that pit­ted her against long­time friend and long­time law­maker Den­nis Kucinich.

The much-watched race drew na­tional at­ten­tion as the two con­gres­sional vet­er­ans were forced by re­dis­trict­ing to fight for their po­lit­i­cal lives.

Ms. Kap­tur led Mr. Kucinich 56 per­cent to 45 per­cent in Lo­rain, close to his home — a bad sign for the for­mer Cleve­land mayor, who made a name for him­self na­tion­ally af­ter two pres­i­den­tial bids.

Mean­while, in the Re­pub­li­can pri­mary race for the Dis­trict 9 seat, Steven Krause led Sa­muel “Joe the Plumber” Wurzel­bacher 74 to 26 per­cent.

State Trea­surer Josh Man­del, a Re­pub­li­can, eas­ily won his U.S. Se­nate pri­mary bid to face off against Demo­cratic in­cum­bent Sher­rod Brown in Novem­ber.

The Kap­tur-kucinich bat­tle for the new dis­trict along the state’s north­ern bor­der was the first and one of the most in­trigu­ing of some 13 House con­tests pit­ting in­cum­bents against in­cum­bents as a re­sult of re­dis­trict­ing af­ter the 2010 cen­sus.

In seven dis­tricts, two sit­ting Democrats will be run­ning against one an­other, while four pri­maries will pit Re­pub­li­can in­cum­bents. Two gen­eral- elec­tion races in Ohio and Iowa will fea­ture a sit­ting Re­pub­li­can and sit­ting Demo­crat run­ning in the same re­drawn dis­trict.

As polls closed at 7:30 p.m., Mr. Kucinich’s sup­port­ers hud­dled in­side a deli in Cleve­land while Ms. Kap­tur’s con­tin­gent planned a watch-night party at a Toledo-area union hall.

Early in the day, celebri­ties tweeted sup­port for Mr. Kucinich. “We can­not lose him,” mu­sic im­pre­sario Rus­sell Sim­mons said. “We need you,” added ac­tor and en­vi­ron­men­tal­ist Ed Be­g­ley Jr. Mr. Kucinich also re­ceived sup­port from NARAL, which tweeted that he was the only pro-choice can­di­date in the race.

Spec­u­la­tion raged on Twit­ter about whether Mr. Kucinich might make a run as a Green Party can­di­date for pres­i­dent or mount a cam­paign run in Washington state if he lost his Dis­trict 9 seat in Ohio.

The Kap­turKucinich con­test up­set many in Ohio’s Demo­cratic hi­er­ar­chy, pit­ting two well­known and ex­pe­ri­enced lib­eral law­mak­ers against each other, thus guar­an­tee­ing that one will not be re­turn­ing to Washington. The state lost two seats in re­dis­trict­ing, with the Gop-drafted map putting the two in­cum­bents in the same new dis­trict.

Ms. Kap­tur, 65, joined the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives in 1983, six years af­ter Mr. Kucinich was first elected.

Both have drawn on fa­mous friends for en­dorse­ments, with ac­tor Tom Hanks and for­mer GOP pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Bob Dole en­dors­ing Ms. Kap­tur, while coun­try mu­sic icon Wil­lie Nel­son was one of a num­ber of celebri­ties tak­ing to the road to raise money for Mr. Kucinich.

Although the two law­mak­ers have been friends, in re­cent weeks the elec­tion turned in­creas­ingly nasty, with spar­ring about vot­ing records, the war in Iraq and jobs.

The win­ner of the con­test likely will be heav­ily fa­vored in Novem­ber against the Re­pub­li­can chal­lenger. Among those seek­ing the GOP nom­i­na­tion were well-known Sa­muel “Joe the Plumber” Wurzel­bacher of Hol­land, Ohio, and Steven Krause, an auc­tion­eer from Huron.

Mr. Kucinich, whose for­mer dis­trict en­cap­su­lated much of Cleve­land, has a sto­ried his­tory there. He was dubbed the “boy mayor” af­ter tak­ing of­fice at age 31. Dur­ing his time in Washington, he has raised his pro­file as an out­spo­ken pro­gres­sive and two-time pres­i­den­tial can­di­date with Hol­ly­wood friends and a na­tional im­age.

The more low-key Ms. Kap­tur has touted her­self as a leader deeply en­gaged in her dis­trict with clout as one of the se­nior Democrats on the pow­er­ful House Ap­pro­pri­a­tions Com­mit­tee. She ar­gued while cam­paign­ing that Mr. Kucinich’s “fo­cus has wan­dered” and she ran ads at­tempt­ing to link him with a for­mer Cuya­hoga County com­mis­sioner on trial on fed­eral rack­e­teer­ing charges.

Mr. Kucinich dubbed her ads as “Swift-boat­ing” tac­tics, as each side sought to play up dif­fer­ences in per­sonal style given their sim­i­lar vot­ing records.

Ms. Kap­tur had a base in her old dis­trict in Toledo, while Mr. Kucinich ran stronger in his na­tive Cleve­land. The pri­mary bat­tle cen­tered on swing vot­ers in the cen­ter of the new dis­trict around the city of Lo­rain, which was not in ei­ther law­maker’s old dis­trict.

The at­tack ad­ver­tis­ing was fu­eled in part by su­per PAC money from out­side the state, high­light­ing the na­tional at­ten­tion the race has drawn in a pres­i­den­tial elec­tion year.



Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.