In Ohio, US House rematch again tests progressive clout


By WILL WEISSERT and JULIE CARR SMYTH - Associated Press



FILE - Nina Turner speaking with supporters near the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections before casting her vote in Cleveland, July 7, 2021.  (AP Photo/Phil Long, File)

FILE - Nina Turner speaking with supporters near the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections before casting her vote in Cleveland, July 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Phil Long, File)


FILE - Democratic candidate, now Rep. Shontel Brown, D-Ohio, Oct. 25, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)


FILE - Ohio Congressional candidate Phil Heimlich, left, speaks with patrons at Cincinnati Fitness & Boxing in Cincinnati, April 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean, File)


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A rematch pitting one of the left’s rising stars against a new House incumbent backed by the more moderate Democratic establishment is providing another key litmus test of the progressive movement’s Rust Belt clout during Tuesday’s congressional primaries in Ohio and Indiana.

Democratic Rep. Shontel Brown is facing progressive activist and former state Sen. Nina Turner for the second time since August in a race that was too early to call Tuesday night. Brown, who campaigned with South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn, the most senior Black member of Congress, beat Turner in last summer’s special election primary seen nationally as a showdown between the party’s traditional powerbrokers and its left flank.

Brown now has the advantage of incumbency but has only been in Congress a matter of months. A leading surrogate for Bernie Sanders ’ 2016 and 2020 presidential campaigns, Turner is endorsed by the Vermont senator and many top progressive groups, who are hoping for a second-try upset.

The Cleveland district where Brown and Turner are competing is heavily African American and solidly Democratic, meaning the primary winner is heavily favored in November’s general election. Our Revolution, the activist group that grew out of Sanders’ first presidential run, says it has devoted 150 volunteers toward boosting Turner in the race, while the pro-Israeli Democratic political organization DMFI PAC has announced spending more than $1 million for Brown.

“I’m running for this office for the same reason that I ran the last time: Greater Cleveland deserves a champion and not much has changed in changing the material conditions of the poor, the working poor and the barely middle class,” Turner said.

Brown, who says she has been an ally to the Biden administration in Congress, counters that “you don’t have to be loud to fight.”

Also, Republican Rep. Warren Davidson turned back a primary challenge from Hamilton County Commissioner Phil Heimlich, son of the famous doctor known for the anti-choking maneuver. Davidson had been endorsed by former President Donald Trump — whose backing helped author JD Vance win the much-watched GOP primary for Ohio’s open Senate seat on Tuesday — while Heimlich had criticized the former president.

Max Miller, a former Trump aide, locked up the Republican nomination in a new district in northeast Ohio despite being accused of assaulting his ex-girlfriend, former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham.

The Akron-area district where another Trump pick, Madison Gilbert, a conservative commentator, was competing, meanwhile, should be one of the likely competitive House seats in November’s general election. Its Republican nominee is set to face state Rep. Emilia Sykes, a former Ohio House Democratic leader and a daughter of a powerful political family in the area.

Another tough congressional race could be coming to Cincinnati in November, when Republican Rep. Steve Chabot will face Democratic Cincinnati City Council member Greg Landsman.

Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur, the longest-serving woman in the House, is unopposed Tuesday. Four Republicans — including two sitting state lawmakers — are competing to take her on in the fall, however, in a newly drawn district that hugs Lake Erie, encompasses Toledo and could be a toss-up.

In neighboring Indiana, former state Sen. Erin Houchin topped eight other Republicans, including former U.S. Rep. Mike Sodrel, for the party’s nomination in the state’s only open House seat and will be heavily favored in November. GOP Rep. Trey Hollingsworth isn’t seeking reelection in his southern Indiana district as he hints at running for governor in 2024.

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Weissert reported from Washington.

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Follow AP for full coverage of the midterms at https://apnews.com/hub/2022-midterm-elections and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ap_politics.

FILE – Nina Turner speaking with supporters near the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections before casting her vote in Cleveland, July 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Phil Long, File)
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2022/05/web1_128756816-06b5773ab2ca4ce8869116572d107ac1.jpgFILE – Nina Turner speaking with supporters near the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections before casting her vote in Cleveland, July 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Phil Long, File)

FILE – Democratic candidate, now Rep. Shontel Brown, D-Ohio, Oct. 25, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2022/05/web1_128756816-003218405e774b9fa6e7414e4862be89.jpgFILE – Democratic candidate, now Rep. Shontel Brown, D-Ohio, Oct. 25, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)

FILE – Ohio Congressional candidate Phil Heimlich, left, speaks with patrons at Cincinnati Fitness & Boxing in Cincinnati, April 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean, File)
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2022/05/web1_128756816-90961fb736184e65bd5e2f095a039768.jpgFILE – Ohio Congressional candidate Phil Heimlich, left, speaks with patrons at Cincinnati Fitness & Boxing in Cincinnati, April 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean, File)

By WILL WEISSERT and JULIE CARR SMYTH

Associated Press