Just a few weeks ago it all seemed so exciting and simple. Marcia Fudge, Congresswoman from Ohio’s 11th district was facing a tough challenger in the form of State Senator Nina Turner, a local firebrand and left wing favorite of MSNBC’s Ed Shultz.
Now, in a late breaking pre-New Year’s news story, Turner has decided to cancel her bid for the 11th district, leaving Fudge – and by extension, Obama – in great shape for 2012. It might turn out that Republican attempts to re-district Ohio to enhance their own congressional delegation might’ve indirectly saved Fudge from a challenge.
The state legislature recently pushed through new congressional districts that radically altered Ohio’s District 11, which expanded from including eastern parts of Cleveland to now including the city of Akron Ohio which is about 30 minutes away. This, in addition to a new primary date of March 5th were cited as reasons why Turner opted not to challenge Fudge at this juncture, but it’s not like she didn’t take shots on the way out. Her press release on leaving the race contained quite a bit of “nicety.”
“Let me be clear: Our community faces huge challenges, which the present leadership has utterly failed to meet,” her statement continued. “The past few months have only convinced me and many Northeast Ohioans of the necessity for change and reform, and so my work will continue. We can and must do better.”
In the grand scheme of things Team Obama is probably quite happy with this result since now he won’t have to avoid visits to Northeast Ohio during a tough primary battle. Fudge, who is a shoo-in for re-election will be able to concentrate on get out the vote efforts for Obama and raising DNC money instead of looking over her shoulder. It’s not clear what the future of Turner might be, but if her statement is any indication she’s not going anywhere.