Rep. Marcy Kaptur tries to defend seat against Republican JR Majewski in turbulent Ohio congressional race

Tom E. Puskar/UKTN Photo; Alex Brandon/UKTN Photo;Insider

  • The race pits the woman with the longest term in office in the House against a Trump-backed newcomer.

  • A recently redrawn congressional district has jeopardized Kaptur’s political career.

  • After Majewski got off to a hot start, a financial disclosure violation and a military service scandal have hurt him.

The longtime Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur takes on Republican newcomer JR Majewski for Ohio’s 9th congressional district. Kaptur has long enjoyed a Democratic constituency but faces its most competitive race in decades.

Ohio’s 9th Congressional District Candidates

No woman in the U.S. House has served longer than Kaptur, who has served Ohio’s 9th congressional district since 1983—when President Ronald Reagan was just halfway through his first term.

Since then, she has been re-elected every election cycle, typically winning her races by more than 30 percentage points thanks to the appeal of her fairly moderate political track record in a constituency that is on balance working-class, predominantly white and populous.

Nearly 40 years ahead: Ohio’s Congressional realignment hasn’t been kind to Kaptur, with a Republican-led legislature pushing her into a decidedly redder district than the one she’s represented for the past decade.

About half of the people in the neighborhood where she now operates are not currently her constituents.

In May, Majewski took a surprise victory in a four-time Republican primary. Former President Donald Trump backed him in June. In the summer, it seemed equally likely that Majewski or Kaptur would prevail in November.

Then Majewski tripped.

His flirtation with QAnon conspiracy theory and pro-Trump presence in Washington, DC, on January 6, 2021, became apparent. He violated federal law by not disclosing required details about his personal finances, and did so only after Insider first reported on the matter.

In September, the UK Time News reported that Majewski had misrepresented aspects of his Air Force service. Majewski’s military service story was further unraveled when Majewski’s claims that a “fight” disqualified him from re-enlisting in the Air Force — though military records indicate drunk driving appeared to have contributed.

The National Republican Congressional Committee has since let Majewski down in a sign that GOP buyers have left him to his own devices.

But in an interview with Insider during a campaign stop in Toledo, Majewski expressed confidence that he will win one way or the other.

JR Majewski, Republican nominee for U.S. Representative for Ohio’s 9th congressional district, takes the stage at a campaign rally in Youngstown, Ohio, on Sept. 17, 2022.Tom E. Puskar/UKTN PH

Voting History for Ohio’s 9th Congressional District

Ohio’s current 9th congressional district is nicknamed the “snake by the lake,” as the current iteration stretches in a thin, winding, Gerrymander stretch along Lake Erie from just west of Cleveland to Toledo and the Ohio state line with Michigan.

This has been to Kaptur’s advantage. For the past ten years, Kaptur has dispatched her Republican opponents with ease in this solid and Democratic district. In 2020, Joe Biden beat then-President Donald Trump here by about 19 percentage points. In 2016, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton won the district by about 22 percentage points from Trump.

But Ohio’s redesigned 9th congressional district—the district in which Kaptur and Majewski operate—is decidedly redder, centered in bluish Toledo, but encompassing significantly more rural (and Republican) areas, both to the west and east.

the money race

According to OpenSecrets, Kaptur raised $3.1 million on October 19, spent about $3.1 million and had about $738,000 on hand in cash. .

As of Nov. 5, Super PACs, National Party Committees and other non-candidate groups have collectively spent more than $4.5 million on this race, including during the primary phase of the race. House Majority PAC, a national Democratic hybrid PAC that supports Kaptur, leads all spenders.

What experts say

The race between Kaptur and Majewski is rated “lean Democratic” by Inside Elections, “lean Democratic” by The Cook Political Report, and “lean Democratic” by Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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