West side match: A 'political animal' vs. a 'survivor.'
Today's edition of the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call contains this mention of our local race for the 1st Congressional District:
A Crop of House Candidates Worth Taking a Look At
By Stuart Rothenberg,
Roll Call Contributing Writer
There is relatively little attention being paid to this year’s fight for the House of Representatives, since Republicans have no chance retaking the chamber in November.
Even more important, most reporters and observers are hypnotized by the fascinating presidential race, and those who care about Congress seem more interested in whether Democrats can gain nine Senate seats and true control of the chamber.
But while they aren’t the focus of the nation’s attention, hundreds of men and women are once again running for Congress, and there are plenty of good ones in the crowd. I haven’t met all of the people receiving positive buzz from national Democratic and Republican strategists, but I have met some. Here’s a quick rundown of the few candidates who have impressed me.
State Rep. Steve Driehaus is challenging Republican Rep. Steve Chabot in Ohio’s 1st district, which includes Cincinnati’s West Side, as well as suburban areas north and west of the city.
The 41-year-old hopeful calls himself a “raging moderate.” He is pro-life (and has been endorsed by right-to-life groups in the past) but supports embryonic stem-cell research. He voted for Ohio’s Defense of Marriage Act but opposes a federal Constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, saying it’s unnecessary. And he opposes “artificial timelines” on withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq, but he believes those forces should be withdrawn.
Driehaus is a political animal. Since he comes from the white, Catholic, middle-class part of the district and should benefit from the district’s considerable African-American population, the challenger should give Chabot a run for his money. But don’t give this seat to the Democrats just yet. Chabot is a survivor.