Democratic incumbent Rep. Shontel Brown will run for re-election in November to keep her seat as Ohio’s 11th Congressional District representative after defeating her opponent, former State Sen. Nina Turner, in a rematch of a special election last year that attracted significant involvement from pro-Israel organizations.
Brown easily defeated Turner, winning by 66.3% of the vote against Turner’s 33.7%. Brown’s gap over Turner widened since they last went head to head in a special election to replace the retiring Congresswoman Marcia Fudge in August, winning 50.2% to Turner’s 44.5%.
Turner aligned herself and campaigned with progressive Democrats such as members of “The Squad” in the U.S. House of Representatives and was endorsed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), whose presidential run Turner served as national campaign chair.
Her alliances with left-wing Democrats also included her opinions on issues surrounding Israel, leading to pro-Israel Democratic groups like Democratic Majority for Israel (DMFI) and others spending a significant amount of money and resources to help Brown win both races.
DMFI PAC president Mark Mellman congratulated Brown on her victory Tuesday in a news release.
“After being the prime outside supporter of now-Rep. Brown’s successful special election campaign in August 2021, we are proud to have once again played a central role backing her in this race,” said Mellman.
Mellman complimented Brown’s record in Congress over the past months, saying unlike Turner, who was previously critical of U.S. President Joe Biden, Brown seeks “to unite the party” and will work with the president and continue supporting the U.S.-Israeli relationship.
“Congresswoman Brown’s defeat of Nina Turner last summer sent an unambiguous message that being pro-Israel is not just wise policy but also good politics,” wrote Mellman.
According to the release, DMFI has spent more than $1 million in support of Brown.
‘Democratic electorate stands with pro-Israel leaders’
Jeff Mendelsohn, executive director of Pro-Israel America, a bipartisan organization also playing a key role in supporting Brown, expressed his satisfaction with the results.
“The U.S.-Israel relationship became a key flashpoint between the two leading Democratic primary candidates in Ohio’s 11th congressional district, and Brown’s victory proves once again that support for the U.S.-Israel relationship is not only good policy but good politics,” he said. “The pro-Israel grassroots community continues to step up for candidates who value a strong U.S.-Israel relationship and are excited to carry this momentum into other upcoming primaries.”
Her campaign was also endorsed and supported by AIPAC and its new political action committee, AIPAC PAC, which can support candidates directly.
AIPAC activists and AIPAC’s Political Action Committee were deeply engaged in this race and proud to stand with a “progressive pro-Israel member of Congress against her anti-Israel opponent.”
“Congresswoman Brown’s victory sends a strong message that the pro-Israel community will stand with those candidates who support the U.S.-Israel relationship. It also shows that the Democratic electorate stands with pro-Israel leaders,” AIPAC wrote in a news release.
Sanders, through one of his Twitter accounts, called AIPAC’s support for Brown and other candidates running against those endorsed by him “pathetic,” saying that “AIPAC and their billionaire friends” had spent $10 million against Turner, Pennsylvania 12th Congressional District candidate Summer Lee, North Carolina 4th Congressional District candidate Nida Allam, and Texas 28th Congressional District candidate Jessica Cisneros.
“Why are they so afraid of strong, progressive women of color fighting for the working class?” he tweeted, which was answered by some tweeting back that Brown is also a progressive woman of color while others pointed out that Turner had outspent Brown.
Brown will face Republican primary winner Eric Brewer, who defeated his opponent, James Hemphill, by 57.6% to 42.4%. The district is considered a safe Democratic seat by Sabato’s Crystal Ball.