CLEVELAND - Swarmed by followers, supporters and local Lorain county elected officials, 9th District Representative Marcy Kaptur was in a very good mood. She celebrated amongst friends, receiving the endorsement of the Cleveland Plain Dealer for the newly redrawn district which includes part of Cuyahoga County. It already includes Erie, Ottawa and parts of Lorain and Lucas counties. In a nutshell, it stretches from Lakewood to Toledo.
The editorial board at the paper cites Kaptur's, "proven knack for assembling coalitions at home, brining together business, labor, university and government officials behind common goals, such as Toledo's promising solar energy industry. " During an interview with Newschannel 5, Kaptur said she's had, "Real results in every community" that she has represented.
The 65-year-old representative says when she came into Congress back in 1983, there were only 24 elected officials that were woman. Today she says there are about 90. As a new-comer to the western part of Cuyahoga County politics, she says she plans, "To get to know the local community. Get to know the elected representatives and try and work with them on projects important to them. "
That certainly sounds like music to the ears of Linda Lumadue, who moved into the city of Lorain about three years ago. "I want someone who is going to help the community. " Lumadue is undecided and isn't sure if either candidate will come through with campaign promises. Her neighbor Vicky Hawke felt the same way. "Can they deliver and what can they bring to the table?" she asked. "It's going to be a tough race between the two of them because they are both well known," she continued.
Hawke was sitting on her porch just down the road from the Black River and enjoying the sun when we came across her. She happened to be reading the Sunday edition of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "I was kind of surprised the plain dealer did that because Marcy Kaptur is not a Cleveland name and obviously Dennis Kucinich is," she told Newschannel 5.
"For them to move away from [Kucinich] and endorse Kaptur means a lot," said Newschannel 5 political analyst Tom Sutton. "At the same time, he tends to be anti-establishment grass roots. He could just as easily use this endorsement as something to rally his people behind him saying, ‘the big bad Plain Dealer has once again turned away from us and has gone with somebody else .' "
Ohio's primary election will be held on Tuesday, March 6th. Kaptur or Kucinich will then face GOP challengers Samuel "Joe the Plumber" Wurzelbacher of the Springfield Township or Steven Kraus of Huron. Stay with Newschannel 5 for continuing coverage of the 2012 elections.