Of the six Democrats seeking to be nominated at the March 6 Democratic Primary to represent Ohio’s new 10th District, DavidEsrati reports, the Montgomery County Democratic Party last night endorsed Sharen Neuhardt.
According to The Ohio Campaign for Accountable Redistricting, the 10th District is only one of three Ohioan congressional districts, out of 16 total, that can be considered “competitive.” With redistricting, the old 3rd District, represented by Republican Mike Turner, merged with the 7th District and, very mathematically, is now the 10th District. The new district picked up a lot of Montgomery County Democrats previously excluded from the 3rd District. The new 10th includes all of Montgomery and Greene counties and part of Fayette.
According to the group’s analysis, in the 10th district, the “Republican index” is 54.18 and the “Democratic index” is 45.82.
Statistically, the Republican candidate has the advantage, but the index doesn’t show the growing frustration of voters with all incumbents. The “approval” of congress is now 10% — an all time low — and incumbent Mike Turner, in this election, will need to deal with rising voter consternation. Many habitual Republican voters are ready to “throw the bums out.”
The MCDP, I’m sure, will say they chose the most qualified of the six candidates. Neuhardt is a successful Greene County attorney, who, in 2008, after the retirement of long time congressman, Republican Dave Hobson, was the Democratic candidate seeking election to the 7th Congressional District. She spent over $800,000, received 42% of the vote, but lost to Steve Austria.
One big factor in any endorsement is electability and, in order to get elected, it seems a candidate must be able to raise huge amounts of money. I’m sure the fact that Neuhardt raised $800,000 in her 2012 campaign made a big impact on the Democratic Party leadership and influenced their endorsement.
Blogger David Esrati is seeking the nomination and has been working hard at his campaign. He objects to the MCDP making their endorsement. He writes, in “The Democratic Monarchy of Montgomery County Endorsed Dirty Money tonight”: “Running a 1% candidate against a 1% incumbent will put the local Dems at 0 and 6 against Turner. In case they haven’t noticed, people are getting turned off by the big money being slung around.” In his campaign speeches, Esrati downplays the importance of money, saying his campaign will not need huge sums of money because he will run an “unconventional campaign.”
But, it is not surprising that the Party, all other factors being equal, would go with a money campaign rather than an unconventional one. Most party members, I’m sure, agree with Former Party chair, Dennis Lieberman, who is quoted as saying, in a December DDN article, a successful Democratic congressional candidate would have to “be able to raise a lot of money.”
Two years ago the nominee was a 25 year old, Joe Roberts. He raised practically no money and ran a very ineffective campaign. Esrati, and the other Democrats not chosen for endorsement, cannot be surprised that the party endorsed the candidate with the track record of raising a lot of cash.
I’m opposed, in principle, to the Party making endorsements. But reforming the MCDP is a challenge for another time.
- In March 6 Primary, Six Democrats Vie For 10th Congressional District Nomination — See Videos of Each, January 31st, 2012
- Proposal To Stop Democratic Primary Endorsements in Montgomery County Quashed At Reorganization Meeting, June 3rd, 2010
- At MCDP Reorganization Meeting I Will Propose A Change In By-Laws To Prohibit Primary Endorsements, June 2nd, 2010
- Now Is The Time For Montgomery County Democrats To Get Involved To Vitalize and Reform Local Dem Party, January 26th, 2010
- Mike Turner Is A Bum, For Our Democracy’s Sake, Let’s Throw The Bum Out, October 16th, 2008