Ohio races left against establishment, Trumpy against Trumpier
Ohio voters will head to the polls tomorrow for the primaries to choose candidates in two Congressional special elections, with candidates including a Sunrirse-backed Democrat and a Republican with coal ties.
The 11th and 15th District races are being held to replace House lawmakers who left Congress earlier this year. General elections in both competitions will take place on November 2.
The 11th District, which Marcia Fudge represented before becoming President Biden’s secretary for housing and urban development, has attracted considerable national attention. The constituency covers majority black areas in Cleveland and Akron and is reliably Democrat, so tomorrow’s race winner will most likely make his way to Congress.
Nina Turner, an outspoken progressive and former state senator, has always been the leading contender for the Democratic nomination. She served as co-chair of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’ independent presidential campaigns in 2016 and 2020, and launched Our Revolution in 2017 to support election candidates with similar views.
“I am running to be a voice for change, to uplift the oppressed, including the poor, the working poor and the barely middle class,” she said in a debate in June hosted by the City Club of Cleveland. “The most important thing for this district is to make sure that the people who are left behind are no longer left behind, and that the body politic of this nation gives back the will to those who absolutely need it most.”
Like Sanders – who endorsed it – Turner supports the Green New Deal to rapidly decarbonize the country’s economy. She says she is committed to “safe drinking water, healthy food and clean air for all,” by strengthening the national park system and other priorities. Turner has the support of the Sunrise Movement, Friends of the Earth Action, the Sierra Club, and many progressive organizations.
But her story of denouncing the Main Democrats has sparked friction, with figures such as Rep. Jim Clyburn (DS.C.), Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio) and former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to support his main rival.
That rival, Cuyahoga County Council member Shontel Brown, is touting herself as a staunch Democrat and has tried to question Turner’s commitment to the party.
“I didn’t just wake up and decide I wanted to go to Congress, nor am I trying to fulfill the lifelong fantasy of becoming the next member of Congress,” she said. declared during the debate. “I have a file, a resume, and the connections to provide and continue to deliver results for the people of the 11th Congressional District.”
Brown said she supports “the principles set out in the Green New Deal,” as well as achieving net zero emissions across the economy by 2050 and in the electricity sector by. 2035.
The other main Democratic candidates are former State Representative John Barnes Jr., former State Senator Jeff Johnson, Navy veteran Tariq Shabazz and former State Senator Shirley Smith.
Two Republicans are also running: businesswoman Laverne Gore and Felicia Washington Ross.
In the 15th arrondissement, a coal industry executive is betting that the approval of former President Trump can get him to cross the finish line.
Unlike the 11th arrondissement, the 15th is faithfully republican. It includes the southern parts of Columbus and the areas south of the city, and was represented by Steve Stivers (R) before he left earlier this year to lead the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.
Trump gave his blessing to Mike Carey, vice president of government relations at American Consolidated Natural Resources Inc., formerly Murray Energy Corp., which was led by the controversial Robert Murray before his retirement and death in 2020. Carey stepped in. made a reputation in Washington as a strong advocate of coal and was previously president of the Ohio Coal Association.
“He will be a courageous fighter for the people and our economy, he is strong on the border and tough on crime,” Trump said in a June statement. “As a veteran, he fully supports our military and his fellow veterinarians. A strong supporter of the Second Amendment, Mike will do an outstanding job in Congress. “
Launching his campaign in May, Carey said in a video that he was “a fighter, the conservative of Trump, whose values were defined by the greatness of Buckeye state”, and that if Democrats “tried to ‘impose a radical program on America, we love “, he” will not stand it “.
But Stivers, along with other lawmakers, backs Jeff LaRe, a state official. LaRe fought for Trump’s approval and continued to say he would apply the former president’s values, but Trump chose Carey instead.
The race is seen as a test of Trump’s power six months after he leaves office. The former president remains the de facto leader of the GOP and teased a 2024 presidential bid. But last week his successful candidate, Susan Wright, lost the second round of the special election to represent Texas’ 6th District, against Rep. Jake Ellzey, another Republican.
Nine other candidates are in the running for the GOP nomination, including business owner Thomas Hwang. Hwang has been active on the airwaves, notably with a commercial last month, which sought to tie Carey, LaRe and State Senator Bob Peterson to HB 6, the coal and nuclear bailout legislation at the center of a major corruption scandal involving FirstEnergy Corp. and former Ohio House president Larry Householder (R).
Two Democrats are running for the 15th District: Army veteran Greg Betts and State Representative Allison Russo.