It was shades of 2016 all over again as two candidates backed by former political rivals faced each other in Ohio’s Democratic primary. Ultimately, the Democratic establishment scored a major victory over the party’s more progressive wing on Tuesday when Shontel Brown, who had been endorsed by Hillary Clinton, defeated the Bernie Sanders-endorsed Nina Turner in the primary election.
The contest was seen as an indicator of where the Democratic Party is at six months into Joe Biden’s presidency and 15 months ahead of the midterm elections for Congress.
The campaign in Ohio’s 11th congressional district, sparked by the resignation of Marcia Fudge to become housing secretary, had turned increasingly nasty in recent weeks with money pouring in from outside groups and both candidates under attack from negative TV ads. But Turner was gracious in conceding defeat, telling supporters: “Tonight my friends, we have looked across the promised land, but for this campaign, on this night, we will not cross the river.”
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) August 4, 2021
Brown was also endorsed by James Clyburn, the highest-ranking African American in the House of Representatives, while Turner had the backing of Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a leading member of “the squad” of progressives. Brown had emphasised her support for Biden’s administration and drew a contrast with Turner, who was co-chair of Sanders’ 2020 presidential run.
And they said Hillary Clinton endorsement will hurt Shontel Brown…..
Hillary Clinton at the current moment looking at Shontel Brown defeating Nina Turner. pic.twitter.com/X4dU6Pah9r
— 👑 Black Professor 👑 (@WonderKing82) August 4, 2021
Brown’s victory in the safe Democratic district follows President Biden’s win over Sanders there in the presidential primary, as well moderate Eric Adams’ triumph over progressives in the New York City mayoral race, signaling that voters want the party to remain more centrist and resist a harder shift to the left.