The Republicans are not the only ones to be experiencing intraparty conflicts and possible fragmentation. Super Tuesday in Ohio was not super for eight-term Democratic congressman Dennis Kucinich. He lost bid for re-election to another veteran Democrat,, who has been his long time Washington colleague.
The showdown is the result of redistricting and a new congressional map in Ohio. Kaptur is in her 15th term representing the Toledo area. In a concession speech Kucinich said, “"I knew full well that redistricting would cause some challenges, from the beginning, I realized I was at a disadvantage, but the campaign made every effort to win."
Kaptur will face the winner of the Republican primary, Samuel “Joe” Wurzelbacher, who became famous as “Joe the Plumber” during the 2008 presidential campaign during a videotaped campaign stop in Ohio by then-Democratic candidate Barack Obama, Wurzelbacher asked Obama about his small business tax policy, and Obama gave a response that included the statement, "when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody."
Kaptur is in her 15th term representing the Toledo area. She ran a campaign that emphasized her record of bringing federal money and projects back to the state.
In a concession speech just past midnight, a bitter Kucinich described Kaptur's campaign as "lacking in integrity, filled with false truths."
"I hope this is not a representation of how she'll run the district," he said.
Kaptur did not respond to Kucinich's criticism, but said in a statement said she will need his supporters, and those of another primary contender, Graham Veysey, in the fall.
"We will need them, and their supporters help to work for the betterment of all of northern Ohio," she said in an Associated Press report.
Kucinich is well known for being a strong liberal voice in the House of Representatives. His perspective has been exemplified by his stance on favoring universal health care, voting against the war in Iraq, advocating the impeachment of Fairness Doctrine, and opposing military intervention in Libya., supporting a plan to ban hand guns, pushing to reinstate the
His liberal perspective and willingness to stand up and speak his truths on peace and support of the middle class will be missed. I don't imagine him retiring from public life, and we will be hearing from him in the future in some capacity.
Districts are redrawn every 10 years to reflect population changes using the results of the new census. Ohio's lagging population growth caused the loss of two of its 18 congressional seats, which pitted Kucinich and Kaptur against each other to reflect the loss.
Redistricting is controlled by the majority political party in power within a state, and this mechanism sets redistricting so incumbents in their party are protected and the minority party, in the case of Ohio the Democrats, are the ones who lose seats and are pitted against each other.