By Chandelis Duster, CNN
Democrat Shontel Brown, a Cuyahoga County Council member, will win Ohio’s 11th Congressional District, CNN projected Tuesday. The seat was vacated by former Rep. Marcia Fudge, who became President Joe Biden’s secretary of housing and urban development earlier this year.
CNN projected Brown’s win over Republican candidate Laverne Gore.
Brown’s victory is not expected to impact the balance of power for the US House of Representatives, where Democrats hold a slim three-seat majority. That’s because Ohio is having another special election in the 15th Congressional District to fill the seat of GOP Rep. Steve Stivers, who resigned earlier this year. That district is considered safely Republican, and GOP Rep. Mike Carey is projected to win Tuesday.
A native of Cleveland, Brown worked in marketing prior to jumping into politics and created a printing company to support small businesses. In 2012, she became a member of Warrensville Heights City Council and was elected chair of the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party in 2017, becoming the first woman and Black American in the position.
She campaigned on working to stem gun violence by supporting gun safety measures, including banning firearm sales to those convicted of domestic violence or a hate crime. Brown also committed to ensuring equity among Covid-19 relief efforts and maternal health.
Gore, also a native of Cleveland and a businesswoman, campaigned on reducing welfare, promoting police training and improving the illiteracy rate. She launched an unsuccessful bid against Fudge in the 2020 election and lost by 60 percentage points.
Brown was a favorite to win the seat in the heavily Democratic, Cleveland-based district where President Joe Biden won 80% of the vote. She defeated Nina Turner, a close ally of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, in the Democratic special primary in August.
Brown had the support of heavy hitters in the Democratic Party, including Biden and South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn, the No. 3-ranking House Democrat. She also had the backing of Hillary Clinton and the Congressional Black Caucus.
“It is a slim majority, and we need a team player,” Ohio Rep. Joyce Beatty, chairwoman of the CBC who urged voters to cast ballots for Brown in the primary, previously told CNN. “We need somebody who’s willing to say they will set aside their own showmanship, their own ego, their own platform if inconsistent with the Democratic platform.”
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