COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Democratic U.S. Rep. Shontel Brown beat former state Sen. Nina Turner for the second time since last summer, easily prevailing Tuesday in an Ohio primary billed nationally as a key showdown between the party’s more moderate establishment and its activist progressive wing.
Brown, who had campaigned with South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn, the most senior Black member of Congress, and as a strong ally to President Joe Biden and his domestic agenda, topped Turner in last summer’s special election primary — and did so again.
Primaries in Ohio and the neighboring, Rust Belt state of Indiana helped kick into high gear a midterm season that will see Democrats attempt to defend their razor-thin congressional majorities this November.
A former Democratic Party county chair, Brown has only been in Congress a matter of months but came into the rematch with the power of incumbency. Turner, a leading surrogate for Bernie Sanders’ 2016 and 2020 presidential campaigns, was endorsed by the Vermont senator and top progressive groups, who had hoped for a second-try upset.
The Cleveland district where Brown and Turner squared off is heavily African American and solidly Democratic, making Brown heavily favored to retain her seat in November’s general election. Our Revolution, the activist group that grew out of Sanders’ first presidential run, says it devoted 150 volunteers toward boosting Turner in the race, while the pro-Israeli Democratic political organization DMFI PAC announced spending more than $1 million for Brown.
Elsewhere, 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.
Trump's support proved valuable in other House primaries as well.
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.
Meanwhile, the Akron-area district where another Trump pick, conservative commentator Madison Gilbert won the Republican nomination, 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 — were 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. The Republican primary there was still too early to call late Tuesday night.
In 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.
Weissert reported from Washington.
Will Weissert And Julie Carr Smyth, The Associated Press