Photograph by Mark Wilson/Getty Images.
Ohio's redrawn 9th congressional district hosted the state's political undercard fight on Super Tuesday, with Rep. Dennis Kucinich losing out to fellow House incumbent Marcy Kaptur. Kaptur will now square off with Samuel Wurzelbacher (aka Joe the Plumber), who snagged the GOP nomination, in November's general election.
CBS News reports that Kucinich conceded defeat to Kaptur early Wednesday morning, when he trailed his fellow Democrat by 24 percentage points. But the liberal House establishment had few kind words for Kaptur: "I would like to be able to congratulate Congresswoman Kaptur, but I do have to say that she ran a campaign in the Cleveland media market that was utterly lacking in integrity,” he said. Although Kaptur did not respond directly to the comments, she thanked the congressman for his "spirited debate" in the campaign, according to Fox 8 Cleveland.
The face-off between the eight-term Kucinich and the 15-term Kaptur was prompted by the loss of two congressional seats in the Buckeye State due to its declining population growth. The newly-redrawn 9th district favored Kaptur's territory over Kucinich's, giving her an early edge in what turned out to be a bitter race between two formerly friendly colleagues.
Their early posturing as reluctant opponents quickly turned negative. As CBS News reports, Kucinich went after Kaptur on her support of the Bush-era Iraq war and Patriot Act, and her opposition to gay marriage. Kaptur attacked Kucinich's flirtation with a run for Congress in Washington state, comparing his possible departure to LeBron James's 2010 decision to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers, a move that enraged many in the city. Kaptur claimed that the possible relocation demonstrated his concern with his national profile over representation of his community, the Washington Post notes. She also criticized Kucinich's voting record on manufacturing job initiatives.
Kucinich's next move is unclear. A Washington run would be tricky at this point, as he'd have to establish residency in the state by April while still representing Ohio in Congress.