With a fraction of the fanfare that accompanied her first dramatic win, Rep. Shontel Brown, a Cleveland-area Democrat, won her primary election on Tuesday, virtually assuring her a full term in Congress representing northeast Ohio’s predominantly Democratic eleventh Congressional District.
Brown has now defeated former Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner, a progressive star, for the second time. Brown previously dispatched with Turner during an August special election. The 2 candidates were vying to fill a seat vacated by former Rep. Marcia Fudge, whom President Joe Biden appointed to function secretary of housing and concrete development.
“I don’t think anybody is surprised,” said David Cohen, a political science professor on the University of Akron. “If a progressive candidate couldn’t win during a special election in an open seat, there was no way they were going to drag it out with an incumbent member of Congress.”
There have been reasons for Turner to carry out a point of hope during a second run. The district’s latest boundaries include the progressive Cleveland suburb of Lakewood. And low turnout might need given additional weight to Turner’s base of highly motivated, left-leaning voters.
However the bar is at all times higher for a candidate asking voters to expel an incumbent, and Brown simply didn’t do enough to disappoint voters during her first five months in office.
“She’s done what she was expected to do,” Cohen said.
As promised, Brown became a reliable vote for Biden, who returned the favor by making Brown his second endorsement of the midterm election cycle. Brown even ingratiated herself with the party’s progressive wing, successfully searching for admission to the Congressional Progressive Caucus and receiving an endorsement from the bloc’s political motion committee.
As well as, Brown continued to benefit from the support of deep-pocketed pro-Israel groups like the Democratic Majority for Israel. She also picked up the big-money backing of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and Protect Our Future, an excellent PAC funded by a cryptocurrency billionaire.
Turner, in contrast, got here to the table with fewer political assets than in her first run, when a veritable army of national progressives contributed to her campaign financially or in person. She raised a fraction of the cash that she had throughout the special election. And despite the endorsement of her loyal ally, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), in addition to a last-minute blessing from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and a six-figure infusion from the left-leaning Insurrection PAC, it wasn’t enough to make the difference.
The one area where Brown broke with Biden, to say nothing of many CPC members, is on U.S.-Israel policy. She joined a small group of moderate, pro-Israel Democrats who’ve expressed reservations in regards to the terms of a revived Iran nuclear deal and its implications for Israel’s security.
There are a limited variety of Democratic voters, nonetheless, for whom right-leaning views on Israel are disqualifying. And in Ohio’s eleventh, home to Ohio’s largest Jewish community, Brown’s stance was likely useful.
“It’s where most elected members of the Democratic Party are at this point,” Cohen said.