On Tuesday, two different corners of Ohio held special election primaries that devolved into battles between each party's distinct wings. In Cleveland's 11th CD, Congressional Black Caucus-endorsed Shontel Brown beat former Bernie Sanders campaign chair Nina Turner 50 percent to 44 percent. And in south central Ohio's 15th CD, Trump-endorsed coal lobbyist Mike Carey comfortably topped a crowded GOP field.
Brown's come-from-behind win over progressive celebrity Turner is a jolt of confidence for Democrats' moderate wing after high-profile triumphs by Squad members in 2018 and 2020. But as usual, there are some important local caveats.
In April, it looked like Turner might run away with the primary. A flashy former state senator, Turner was sitting on a 35 point lead in her own poll and had a million dollar fundraising lead thanks to a national network of Sanders activists. Brown, a protege of former Rep. Marcia Fudge who once ran a printing business and worked her way up to Cuyahoga County Democratic chair, started with minimal name ID in the 11th CD.
However, Turner had also gone out of
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