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As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Monday, December 03, 2007

OH-05: Lots of buzzing about an upset

So there are two special elections for Congress on December 11, one in VA-01 for the late Jo Ann Davis, and one in OH-05 for the late Paul Gillmor. Both were Republicans, and both are Republican-leaning seats. But they are also test cases to see just how badly Republican support has cratered in the country, particularly in the two bellweather states of Ohio and Virginia.

In particular, OH-05 looks very interesting. There's been an enormous amount of buzz today for the candidacy of Robin Weirauch, a former director of the Center for Regional Development at Bowling Green State University. Establishment and netroots-based Democrats are coming together to put a lot of pressure on the Republican in the race, Rep. Bob Latta. It's a career politician versus a citizen, and in Ohio, any career Republican pol is going to be tainted with the "Coingate" scandal that rocked the entire GOP and caused their whole statewide slate to lose in 2006. The DCCC has dropped a boatload of money on negative ads (one of which is here), and Weirauch has just been added to the Blue Majority page. The Republicans countered with a $280,000 ad buy, which is huge. That accounts for almost 10% of the NRCC's entire cash on hand. What's more, it shows that they're plenty nervous about what should be a safe seat.

New Daily Kos FPer brownsox has a backgrounder.

What I really like is that Weirauch's blog emphasizes real-world issues like jobs, product safety and children's healthcare. She seems to be running on a message of populism, opposition to NAFTA and other free trade agreements that have pummeled NW Ohio, and strengthening labor. She would not just be an additional Democrat, but separate from the corporatist Hoyer/Emanuel crowd. Let's hope she can pull through - and show the nation that the Republican brand is dead and buried in the Buckeye State.

UPDATE: Denny Hastert's old seat in IL-14, which will have a special election in March, will also be a great opportunity.

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