UPDATED 2:50 PM PT – Sunday, July 11, 2021
The special election in Ohio’s 11th district has heated up as Democrats duke it out for who will succeed recently confirmed Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge.
Big names have stepped in to endorse either side of the Democrat campaign. Hilary Clinton has voiced her support for moderate Cuyahoga County Democrat Party Chair Shontel Brown. Where progressives like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) have endorsed former co-chair of the Bernie Sanders 2020 campaign Nina Turner.
The race has become a proxy battle for the future of the Democrat Party, however, whether it will trend progressive or hold its establishment roots in the years to come.
Congressman Clyburn is an inspiration, and I am so humbled to receive his endorsement.
He’s spent his career fighting for his district, and as your next representative, I’m committed to doing the same for Northeast Ohio.https://t.co/7YAYfrvn36#jointhejourney#OH11 pic.twitter.com/vvmd3v0lN9
— Shontel Brown for Congress (@ShontelMBrown) July 1, 2021
Brown also received South Carolina’s James Clyburn’s (D) endorsement. Clyburn, the third ranking Democrat and highest ranking Black representative in the House, is widely credited with saving Joe Biden’s primary campaign in 2020.
In his endorsement, Clyburn focused on the legacy of Black Ohio Congressmen rather than national issues and Democrat politics. “I served with Lou Stokes, Stephanie Tubbs Jones and Marcia Fudge. They were effective because they focused on you, not on themselves. Shontel Brown will continue that legacy in Congress,” said Clyburn.
Brown is trying to run a “middle of the road” campaign in order to maintain national establishment support. She has expressed her support for Israel and has the backing of many Jewish Democrats. She also claimed a big reason for her run is to honor the legacy of those who came before her.
I am results driven and focused on serving the needs of the people who live in this district. It’s your voices and issues that serve as my call to action.
I am running with a record of action and results.#shontelbrownforcongress#jointhejourney pic.twitter.com/hnxDzH2j8r
— Shontel Brown for Congress (@ShontelMBrown) June 17, 2021
Taking the establishment oxygen for herself, Brown said she hopes to boost her polling numbers. Turner however, said she’s not dismayed by her lack of endorsements from prominent establishment Democrats. She appeared to receive energy from bucking the establishment of her own party and has famously kept aloof on whether she voted for Hilary Clinton in 2016.
In 2020, she was vocal in her distaste for Biden’s presidential run. She voiced her beliefs on her firebrand version of progressivism and how it has shifted the debate within the Democrat Party on acceptable policy positions.
In the meantime, the Republicans running for the seat face an uphill battle in the heavily Democrat district. They will face off against a total of 13 Democrat primary candidates and two Republicans, Laverne Gore and Felicia Washington Ross.
Reports have said if Gore or Ross are successful in their bid, they would be the first Republican to hold the seat in nearly four decades.