Special election decides JCU’s new congresswoman


(AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Democratic candidate (and eventual winner) Shontel Brown talks with a man at the Bedford Community Center, Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021, in Bedford Heights, Ohio.

Patrick Kane, World News Editor

After an incredibly contentious primary against Our Revolution President and Bernie Sanders ally Nina Turner, John Carroll University finally has its answer on who its new U.S. Representative will be: Cuyahoga County Councilwoman and Cuyahoga County Democratic Party Chairwoman Shontel Brown.

Back in December 2020, previous Congresswoman Marcia Fudge was announced as then-President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee for the U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. In the following March, Fudge was confirmed and vacated her House seat as such. Seeing as her seat, Ohio’s 11th congressional district, is 30 points more Democratic than the country as a whole, the winner of the Democratic primary was universally agreed to be the next member of Congress from Northeast Ohio.

On Aug. 3, the primary was held, and the establishment-backed Brown upset the previously-favored Turner, even amidst an ethics scandal concerning Brown allegedly giving out government contracts to a firm run by the family of her then-partner, a firm which later donated to her campaign. Regardless, Brown won and would face off against Republican businesswoman and perennial candidate Laverne Gore in the November general election.

As expected, Brown won in a landslide, carrying 78.8% of the vote in the heavily Democratic district. She is expected to be sworn in when the vote is certified later this month. However, as this contest was a special election, Brown will have to defend her seat a year from now in 2022, which may be quite the task considering the uncertainty around Ohio’s redistricting. Additionally, Turner has filed to run in the district again next year, potentially setting up yet another bitter primary battle.

When asked for comment, Max Malley ‘24, a member of the JCU College Democrats, said, “Representative-elect Shontel Brown won election to Ohio’s 11th congressional district in a convincing, yet unsurprising manner. Ohio’s 11th is a Democratic stronghold, through and through. What will be interesting to see out of Ohio’s 11th, however, will be the future of the district. After the redistricting process is complete later this year, the 11th will assuredly have a different composition than before.

“Nina Turner, the former State Senator, and Sanders 2020 spokesperson is said to be exploring a rematch with Ms. Brown. If she does seek a rematch, the campaigning for that seat will begin soon for a May ‘22 primary. Expect Shontel Brown’s first term to be defined by politics as she feverishly looks to defend the seat she won.”