Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, has defeated fellow Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich in the state's 9th District congressional primary.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer called the race for Kaptur near midnight. With 84 percent of precincts reporting, Kaptur led Kucinich 60 percent to 36 percent.
Kaptur and Kucinich were drawn into the same district after slow population growth forced Ohio to contract two seats in congressional redistricting last year. Kucinich ran strong in his Cuyahoga County base outside Cleveland, but Kaptur more than made up the difference around her home in Toledo and the sliver of territory between the two cities that was new to both representatives.
Kaptur's victory puts her in pole position for the top Democratic slot on the powerful House Appropriations Committee next year. She is the second-ranking Democrat on the committee now, but ranking member Norm Dicks, D-Wash., announced last week that he will retire at the end of this Congress.
The result will also end Kucinich's eight-term career in Congress. First elected in 1998, Kucinich used his time in the House to advocate liberal causes, often pushing the Democratic Party from the left on issues like health care reform and the Iraq War. But Kaptur's campaign used Kucinich's reputation as a liberal crusader against him in their merged seat race, repeating that Kucinich was a "show horse" while Kaptur more consistently brought federal money home to the district.
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