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Government and Politics

Congressman Kucinich loses Democratic primary
Toledo Congresswoman Kaptur will represent redrawn district
This story is part of a special series.

Kevin Niedermier
Congressman Kucinich, with wife Elizabeth at his side, conceeds.
Courtesy of Kevin Niedermier
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In The Region:

In January, Dennis Kucinich will no longer be a member of Congress from Ohio. In Tuesday’s Democratic primary, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur soundly defeated him in his run for a new district that stretches from Cleveland to Toledo. And as WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier reports, the campaign ended with some hard feelings.

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03/07/12              Kucinich Loses niedermier web                       KN/MM

Few expected Congressman Dennis Kucinich to win the new 9th District snaking along Lake Erie. And in the end, he only won Cuyahoga County, losing in the four other counties that made-up much of Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur’s old district.


In his concession speech, Kucinich vowed to continue fighting for social justice and organized labor after his term ends in January.

On the other side of the state, Kaptur was celebrating the likely continuation of her 30-years in office. She called Ohio not only an “economic powerhouse, but a Democratic powerhouse.”

In November, Kaptur will face Republican challenger Samuel “Joe the Plumber” Wurtzelbacher in one of the few Ohio districts to lean heavily Democratic.

A change in tone

The primary race between Kaptur and Kucinich began friendly, but turned bitter toward the end. Kucinich chided Kaptur for her support of defense industry funding which he said she used to solicit campaign contributions from defense contractors. Kaptur ran ads in the Cleveland area scolding Kucinich for past praise of former Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora, who’s on trial on federal corruption charges. After losing the race, Kucinich questioned Kaptur’s campaign strategy.

Kucinich supporters lamented losing their eight-term congressman. They also continued criticism of the Republican-inspired redistricting that forced the two Democratic incumbents into a race against each other. The head of the Cleveland area AFL-CIO, Harriet Applegate, says the change in congressional representation goes beyond Kucinich’s strong support for organized labor.

Kucinich’s previous hard-nosed stands in Congress, led many past supporters to vote against him in the primary.

Kucinich, who is 65, has been in politics rather consistently since he was elected to Cleveland City council in 1969.
-- Web story by Matt Meduri 


Related WKSU Stories

With Ohio's new 9th, geographical loyalty goes only so far
Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Kaptur and Kucinich debate at the Cleveland City Club
Monday, February 20, 2012

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