Ohio becomes a battleground for rival Democratic factions

Democrats focused on a congressional race in the Cleveland area to get clues about the party’s leadership.

In Nina Turner, progressives see a lively defender of left-wing orthodoxy. In Shontel Brown, moderates see a pragmatic complement to President BidenJoe BidenKentucky lawmaker comes under scrutiny for comparing Fauci to Jonestown cult leader Omar leads lawmakers to call on US envoy to fight Islamophobia The Public Charter School Group explodes the democratic cut proposalthe national agenda.

The two are competing for a House seat in the 11th Congressional District of Ohio. The August 3 primary should presage the outcome of the general election.

The race has become a test of Democratic doctrine and star power two weeks before Election Day, an ultra-nationalized contest that has angered some party loyalists and activists who say you can’t diagnose a wider trend in from a single competition at the district level.

“One of the problems here is that the national players operate like it’s all about this,” said Dave Pepper, former chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party, who backed Turner. “It has become a much less positive race than I would like.”

“The whole debate, I’m afraid, has been twisted because people are layering other battles on this race,” he said.

Chris Scott, political director of Democracy for America, described the race as a “proxy battle” between the progressive and establishment flanks of the party.

“It’s just unfortunate how tough and disagreeable this race can be at times,” said Scott. “You never want to see this, but at the same time, what do you expect when you have a conflict of ideologies over how exactly we should be fighting for the people?” “

In the latest sign of Washington’s keen interest, two of the House’s most vocal elected officials, Majority Whip James Clyburn (DS.C.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezHillicon Valley: Biden to Appoint Big Tech Critic to DOJ Antitrust Role | House Passes Series of Bills to Boost Cyber ​​Security Following Attacks | Bezos returns from space flight Schumer feels pressure from all sides over spending strategy Duckworth and Pressley introduce bill providing paid family leave for those who miscarry MORE (DN.Y.), are expected to lock in for Brown and Turner, respectively, in the coming days.

Both campaigns have praised the high-level support, but say they are working to stay in the Cleveland area. They are fishing to replace the old representative. Marcia FudgeMarcia FudgeOn The Money: Schumer puts pressure on spending strategy from all sides | GOP hammers HUD chief over slow rental aid | Democrat proposes taxes on commercial spaceflight Republicans hammer HUD chief over slow rental aid On The Money: Shares fall as COVID-19 fears choppy market | Schumer defines infrastructure showdown | Democrats struggle to sell their PLUS program (D-Ohio), who was confirmed in January as Biden’s housing and urban development secretary.

Democrats have incentives to keep the local focus. Historically, critics say that the excessive nationalization of ballot races can hurt matters that voters discuss at home that may not apply nationwide. They argue that too much of the national hype can stifle smaller and perhaps more nuanced issues that actually prevail among residents.

In Cleveland, which has a large population of low-income residents, some say paying attention to voter appeals for things like affordable housing and expanded medical access is even more essential.

Both campaigns claim they did. Turner posted an ad supporting Medicare for All, while Brown’s campaign website says she will support a universal health care bill if it comes to the House for a vote.

Some of their priorities also jointly follow the Biden administration’s agenda, such as a federal minimum wage of $ 15 and making the child tax credit permanent.

Turner, who has been the frontrunner for much of the race, has seen his lead shrink in recent days amid new attacks and endorsements for his opponent from National Democrats and special aligned organizations.

An influential list of outside groups, including the Congressional Black Caucus PAC and the New Democrat Coalition Action Fund, recently endorsed Brown, as did Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham Clinton Linda Greenhouse and religious right Biden meet with Merkel on German leader’s last official trip to Washington Ocasio-Cortez to defend Turner in Ohio ahead of special election MORE, the former Democratic presidential candidate of 2016. The Democratic Majority for Israel PAC also supported Brown’s campaign through targeted advertising.

Brown has spent more than $ 1 million in the past seven weeks, according to his campaign. A senior assistant to Turner declined to comment on their expenses.

Meanwhile, Turner slammed what she called spending black money – one of the movement’s progressives’ biggest gripes – of Brown’s allies during an organizing call for Our Revolution on Monday. evening, warning that these groups “are coming with fury.”

“The corporatists are throwing everything, the plaintiffs and guardians of the status quo are throwing everything at us to try to stop this movement, but we will not be stopped,” Turner said on the call.

Brown’s campaign focused much of its firepower on Turner’s past criticisms of party leaders like Biden and former President Obama, accusing him of “constant dress” in a statement to The Hill.

“Nina Turner sees this race getting away from her, and Shontel Brown has the momentum in the closing weeks of this race,” said Brown campaign manager Brian Peters.

Turner’s allies insist the negative push to the final sprint was expected. Sen’s former campaign agent. Bernie sandersBernie SandersLawmakers Unveil Measure Increasing Congressional Control Over Overnight Energy War Permits: Democrats Seek To Fight Climate Change With Import Tax | Advocates say bigger deal needed to tackle climate crisis | Western wildfires worsen with 80 different fires Advocates say bigger deal needed to tackle climate crisis MORE (I-Vt.) And close friend of the senator has made a name for himself on insurgent and straightforward style politics, claiming that change for working-class Americans is most effective when it comes from below.

In essence, they say there is nothing new to see here.

“This race is getting a lot of attention because Nina is a progressive star and will be advocating for the entrenched special interests that we need in Congress,” said Connor Farrell, a strategist who founded fundraising company Left. Rising, which channels the little dollars. donations to progressive candidates backed by groups like Justice Democrats.

“It makes a lot of people both excited and a lot of entrenched interests very, very scared,” Farrell said.

In addition to Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez, Turner also received support from other progressive “squad” members like Reps. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibOmar leads lawmakers in call for US envoy to fight Islamophobia New polls show Democratic race to replace Fudge tightens in Ohio Webb: rebellion, not revolution MORE (D-Mich.) And Ilhan OmarIlhan Omar Omar leads lawmakers in call for US envoy to fight Islamophobia New polls show Democratic race to replace Fudge tightens in Ohio Photos of the Week: Therapy dog, Surfside memorial and dancers Chinese PLUS (D-Minn.). Activist and former NAACP president Ben Jealous will campaign for Turner in Akron on Friday.

Those who prefer a more traditional centrist politics are hoping that Clyburn’s next visit will increase Brown’s chances, like what happened when the Democratic King endorsed Biden at the low of his presidential campaign.

Biden swept the South Carolina and Super Tuesday primaries with the help of Clyburn, who rallied much of the black Democratic voting bloc behind the then candidate.

“When the most important black elected official of our time shows up in a place like Cleveland, where the African American vote serves at the nerve center, I think that only gives you one chance to succeed,” said the strategist. Democrat and ally of Clyburn. Antjuan Seawright.

But progressives say Clyburn is not likely to have the same impact in the industrial Midwest, pointing to recognition of Turner’s name and his local standing in the community as greater benefits.

” I do not think so Jim ClyburnJames (Jim) Enos Clyburn Internet Service Providers Spent $ 0 Million on Lobbying and Donations: Bottom Line Report Biden to Make ‘Moral Argument’ for Voting Rights in Tuesday’s Speech MORE has that kind of presence or influence in Ohio or that district, ”said Our Revolution executive director Joseph Geevarghese. “When you have someone like Nina, who’s been on city council, who’s been a state senator, a stranger coming in and saying ‘the best black representative is Shontel Brown’, I don’t think that’s going to fly. “

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