Rep. Shontel Brown (D-Ohio) was projected to win her Cleveland-area reelection bid on Tuesday, defeating progressive challenger Nina Turner in a high-profile rematch that was seen as an early test of the Democratic Party’s direction in the lead-up to the midterms.
The Associated Press called the race at 10:22 pm ET.
Brown’s victory in Ohio’s 11th Congressional District secured her place as a consensus-builder between both wings of the party.
She won her first special congressional election in 2021 when former Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) retired to become President Biden’s Housing and Urban Development secretary.
A newcomer to Capitol Hill, Brown is a passionate supporter of Biden and Democrats in office. She ran both campaigns by fully backing the White House’s domestic agenda and pledging to help move the president’s top priorities, including on pivotal votes.
That loyalty paid off just before Election Day. Biden offered Brown a surprise endorsement — one of only a handful of party primaries he has waded into — giving her a boost in the final stretch of the campaign.
“Shontel is committed to building a better America,” Biden wrote on Friday afternoon. He called her a “true partner in Congress.”
Brown also received support from House Majority Whip James Clyburn (DS.C.), another powerful endorser, and the Congressional Progressive Caucus, further indicating her intraparty appeal.
Biden’s decision to back Brown angered some progressives who wanted to send Turner to Congress.
Turner, a former co-chairwoman of Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) presidential campaign, inspired many on the left by her grassroots approach to politics and progressive causes. But she drew criticism from others in the party for what they perceived to be unnecessary bomb-throwing.
The former Ohio state senator often disagreed with establishment figures, including Biden himself, about policies and promised to bring some of that fire to Washington if elected.
Ultimately, however, Brown’s popularity proved to be stronger in the district.