- Democrat Shontel Brown easily won the special election for Ohio’s 11th District.
- The Cleveland-based district was vacated in March by now-HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge.
- Polls in Ohio closed at 7:30 pm ET.
What’s at stake:
Democrat Shontel Brown sailed to victory over Republican challenger Laverne Jones Gore in the Tuesday special election for Ohio 11’s Congressional District. The seat was vacated in March by former Rep. Marcia Fudge who joined the Biden administration as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
Brown, a Cuyahoga County councilmember and chairwoman of the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party, defeated former state Sen. Nina Turner, who gained national prominence as a top surrogate for Sen. Bernie Sanders in his 2016 and 2020 presidential runs.
At the national level, the contentious August primary between Brown and Turner became somewhat of a proxy race between the progressive and establishment wings of the Democratic Party. It attracted millions of dollars in outside spending and influence, with national political heavyweights endorsing on both sides.
The racially diverse, reliably Democratic 11th District includes parts of Cuyahoga and Summit counties and occupies a stretch of the area from Cleveland’s east side to Akron, with a mix of working-to-upper-middle-class suburbs including Euclid and Shaker Heights. In the 2020 election, the district backed President Joe Biden by a margin of 60 percentage points – 79.8% to 19.2% – over former President Donald Trump.
Because the Ohio race is a special election, the winner will be seated in Congress almost immediately. Brown’s likely election will be a lifeline for House Democrats and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is currently presiding over a slim three-vote Democratic majority as she tries to maneuver Biden’s economic agenda through the lower chamber.
Also on Tuesday, Ohio’s safely Republican 15th Congressional District will host a special election to fill a seat vacated by former Rep. Steve Strivers, who retired from Congress before the end of his term. In that race, Republican Mike Carey, a former coal industry lobbyist, is expected to defeat Democrat Allison Russo, an Ohio state lawmaker.
And in South Florida, 11 candidates are competing in a Democratic primary to fill a vacant seat in the state’s safely Democratic 20th Congressional District. It was left vacant after the April death of former Rep. Alcee Hastings. The general election for that seat will take place on January 11, 2022.
John L. Dorman contributed reporting.