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Shontel Brown Edges Out Nina Turner In Ohio Democratic U.S. House Primary

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The congressional district that includes Cleveland and its eastern suburbs held a primary election. The Democratic race pitted a candidate favored by the party establishment against a high-profile progressive. And the victory of county party chair Shontel Brown may signal the direction Democratic voters are taking. Here's Matt Richmond of Ideastream Public Media.

MATTHEW RICHMOND, BYLINE: During her victory speech, Shontel Brown gave credit to the high-profile Democrats, like Majority Whip James Clyburn, who threw their support her way.

SHONTEL BROWN: Powerful people shoutout to the whip, Congressman Clyburn.

(CHEERING)

RICHMOND: Brown described Marcia Fudge, who left this seat to become Housing secretary in the Biden administration, as her mentor. She even brought Fudge's mother up on the stage.

BROWN: And if it's not the queen maker herself...

(LAUGHTER)

BROWN: ...Mama Saffold, the mother of Secretary Fudge.

RICHMOND: Brown's opponent was the 2020 national co-chair for Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign, Nina Turner. Turner got her start in Cleveland politics and appeared to hold an early lead in the race. She brought national progressive figures like Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Cornel West to Cleveland. In addition to support from the Democratic Party establishment, Brown prevailed in part by allying herself with Jewish communities in Cleveland's eastern suburbs. She described a 2018 trip to Jerusalem.

BROWN: You can appreciate the vulnerability of a state, and that has given me the understanding of the importance of the U.S.-Israel relationship.

RICHMOND: Brown is expected to easily win the general election in this solidly Democratic area.

For NPR News, I'm Matt Richmond in Cleveland.

(SOUNDBITE OF MENAHAN STREET BAND'S "THE CONTENDER") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Matthew Richmond

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