ABC News is calling the 15th District here in Ohio for Republican Steve Stivers over incumbent Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy. With 92 percent of the precincts reporting, Stivers leads Kilroy, 54 percent to 41 percent.
Kilroy, who was swept in to office with the Obama win in 2008, was a faithful proponent of the “health care reform” legislation and the House Democratic agenda. She was also one of UJ’s favorites.
As the night progresses, we’ve seen significant swings in the Ohio Governor’s race. In early returns, Republican John Kasich led, then incumbent Democratic Governor Ted Strickland surged into the lead, and now Kasich has moved into a slight lead.
In Ohio, the issue of where the votes have been counted can be highly significant. Although Ohio, as a whole, is a swing state, the Buckeye State really is a bunch of enclaves. When you consider interim statewide results, you must consider whether it is Democratic strongholds that been counted or Republican areas that have been tallied first.
Here in central Ohio, the Stivers-Kilroy case in the 15th District has not been called, although Stivers has a significant lead with more than half of the votes counted. In our district, the 12th, about a third of the votes have been counted and Republican incumbent Pat Tiberi has a surprisingly small lead over Democratic challenger Paula Brooks.
As of 10:20 p.m. Eastern time, there is still a lot to be decided.
As UJ notes in his recent post, Democratic Representative Mary Jo Kilroy always notes that her challenger, Republican Steve Stivers, was a “banking lobbyist.” I assume that means that focus groups are indicating that “banking lobbyist” has sure-fire negative connotations, like “axe murderer” or “convicted felon.”
Representative Kilroy’s negative harping on Stivers’ service as a “banking lobbyist” is weird because lobbyists, of course, routinely interact with legislators — like Kilroy. If the notion is that lobbying is some intrinsically corrupt job, it is because the legislative process of which Kilroy is a part is corrupt. What kind of message is that for a Member of Congress to be sending?
Perhaps the negative element of “banking lobbyist” that Kilroy is emphasizing is not the “lobbyist” part, but the “banking” part. If so, it’s too bad. Grampa Neal was a banker, and a pretty successful one at that. Like George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life, Grampa helped steer his bank safely through the Great Depression, made lots of very prudent loan (and no-loan) decisions that helped businesses and families, and presided over the bank’s steady growth over a period of several decades. If Grampa Neal ever used a lobbyist, I am sure it was done properly and for good reason. I therefore don’t necessarily associate the phrase “banking lobbyist” with something nefarious.
I guess we will find out in November whether voters in the 15th District think “banking lobbyist” has worse connotations than “incumbent Member of Congress.”
I read Bob’s blog regarding the race in District 15 and found an interesting article which points out several reasons why Mary Jo Kilroy may likely hold on to her congressional seat.
It’s hard to fault her for voting for what her constituents want and as this article points out a large part of her constituency is young voters at Ohio State and government workers who work in and live in and around Columbus.
While Mary Jo had been in Congress the two biggest pieces of legislation that were passed were the Healthcare Reform Bill and the Financial Reform Act both of which I was in favor of. Mary Jo participated in writing the Financial Reform Act.
The article also mentions the fact that there will be additional candidates that will most likely pull votes from Stivers who has been employed as a banking lobbyist and is a pro-life Republican.