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Progressives Come Up Short Again, This Time in Ohio’s 11th CD; Carey Wins in 15th

August 4, 2021 by Dan McCue
Shontel Brown

Centrist Shontel Brown, the chair of the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party in Ohio, defeated progressive favorite Nina Turner for her party’s nomination Tuesday in the special election for the state’s 11th Congressional District.

With 100% of precincts in the district reporting Brown garnered 50.2% of the vote, while Turner received 44.5%. Eleven other candidates split the remaining 5.3% of the vote.

The 11th Congressional District comprises Cleveland, its eastern suburbs and a portion of Akron, Ohio.

The race there was seen as a proxy fight between the Democratic establishment and the progressive wing of the party.

Brown, for instance, was supported in the race by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, House Majority Whip James Clyburn, of South Carolina, and the Congressional Black Caucus PAC.

Turner, a former state senator and surrogate for Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., during his presidential campaigns, had the backing of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, of New York, and the Congressional Progressive Caucus’s PAC.

Polls showed Turner leading for much of the race, but Brown pulled the victory out in the end.

After it was clear she won, Brown posted a video on her Facebook page in which she said, “To be in this position, to be able to be an example for others that anything really is possible if you just believe and are faithful and work hard.”

In her concession speech, Turner told supporters that together, they had “looked across [to] the promised land, but for this campaign, on this night, we will not cross the river.” 

Brown’s victory is the latest in a string of losses for progressive candidates in 2021 primaries and comes just a month after another moderate, Eric Adams, bested a large field — and many progressives — in the primary to decide the Democratic candidate for mayor of New York City in the fall.

And just last week Adams said, while he’ll face Republican Curtis Sliwa in the fall, his real opponent is the far-left socialist “movement” led by Rep. Ocasio-Cortez in New York.

“I’m running against a movement. All across the country, the DSA [Democratic Socialists of America] is mobilizing to stop Eric Adams,” the mayoral candidate said during a fundraiser in Queens, New York.

“They realize that if I’m successful, we’re going to start the process of regaining control of our cities,” Adams said, according to a video of his speech.

Because the 11th district is solidly Democratic, Brown is now the favorite to win the general election Nov. 2 for the seat that Democrat Marcia Fudge vacated in March to become Housing and Urban Development secretary in the Biden administration.

Brown will compete against business owner and community activist Laverne Gore, who won the GOP primary Tuesday night.

Gore received 74.1% of the vote compared to Felicia Washington Ross’s 25.9%.

In Ohio’s other big race of the night, Mike Carey, a coal industry lobbyist endorsed by former President Donald Trump, won a crowded Republican primary in the special election for Ohio’s 15th District.

The victory makes him the heavy favorite to succeed former GOP Rep. Steve Stivers in November. 

Carey, a friend of Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s former campaign manager, said in a statement that the primary sent “a clear message to the nation that President Donald Trump is, without a doubt, the leader of our party.”

With all precincts now reporting, Carey garnered 37% of the vote, while state Rep. Jeff LaRe, pulled in 13.3% and former state Rep. Ron Hood got 13.1%.

Carey’s victory in a district located in Central Ohio, is something of a vindication for Trump after Republican Jake Ellzey defeated the candidate Trump backed in a Texas special election last week.

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