Trump-endorsed candidate challenges 40-year-old U.S. House member in Ohio

In Ohio’s redesigned 9th congressional district, some residents will be in shock when the calendar shifts to January 2023.

Whether longtime Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur retains her seat or Republican Air Force veteran and director of nuclear power JR Majewski wins, a segment of the population in northwest Ohio will have a representative whose platform is radically different from what he is used to.

Kaptur is 76 and has close ties to President Joe Biden. She has a lifetime rating of 11.85 by the American Conservative Union. Biden received a 12.57 rating during his tenure in the US Senate.

She was first elected to the United States House in 1982 when President Ronald Reagan was halfway through his first term.

Majewski, 42, was deployed to Afghanistan on Operation Enduring Freedom, built a career managing nuclear power plants and gained national fame when he painted a Trump 2020 sign in the yard of his Port Clinton home near the shore of Lake Erie.

For a decade leading up to the current election cycle, the 9th District covered 140 miles of the Lake Erie shoreline, including the Democratic strongholds of Toledo in northwest Ohio and Cleveland in the northeast corner of Ohio. State.

Kaptur has won electoral victories, regularly securing over 60% of the vote.

Now, after the most recent redistricting process, the 9th District comprises the rural northwest corner of Ohio, which Kaptur never represented. Voters there are more conservative. Cleveland is no longer in the district.

With Biden’s approval rating at 36% and inflation at 9.1%, Republicans are confident they will regain control of the House in November. The party needs a net gain of five seats to achieve this goal.

Political forecasters give Republicans a slight edge in winning the district.

Kaptur was added to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s “Frontline” program for vulnerable members of the House.

Majewski was named one of the Republican National Congressional Committee’s “Young Guns,” which identifies the party’s top U.S. House recruits for 2022.

President Joe Biden departs the White House and walks to Marine One on the South Lawn in Washington, DC on May 11, 2022. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The NRCC said it would spend about $1 million on the Toledo Media Market, which includes the 9th district.

On June 5, Majewski was endorsed by Trump.

“In Congress, JR will always promote American energy, secure the border, support our farmers, protect lives, defend the Second Amendment, fight for election integrity, and provide our veterans with the care they deserve,” the former president said in a statement. .

In 2020, Majewski attracted national media attention, and subsequent scrutiny, when he turned his 19,000 square foot triangular lawn into a banner for Trump.

A year prior, he had painted a large American flag in his yard in support of veterans.

Last September, he painted Trump in the style of a stenciled portrait with a red, white and blue background as an “SOS” to the former president after Biden’s handling of the US military withdrawal from Afghanistan.

“I’m sending an SOS to [former] President Trump because the United States of America needs leadership now more than ever,” Majewski said in a statement at the time.

In her 40th year as a member of Congress, Kaptur is a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee and the longest-serving House Representative.

Although other Ohio Democrats — including U.S. Senate candidate and current Rep. Tim Ryan, and former Dayton mayor and gubernatorial candidate Nan Whaley — have distanced themselves from Biden during recent visits to state, Kaptur continues to praise the man who was first elected to the Senate in 1972.

“Joe Biden is the first president in my life – and that’s one of the reasons I’m running again because I’m going to help Joe as much as I can – that’s kind of understood,” he recently said. Captur to journalists.

“He’s a guy from the Delaware coast. But he grew up the son of a man who lost his job. And it matters.

Last week, Biden appeared in Cleveland to promote a federal initiative created as part of his US bailout that will prevent pension cuts for two to three million workers and retirees.

Many economists say the US bailout is partly responsible for the escalating inflation rate, but Kaptur told audience members waiting for Biden’s speech that the plan was part of the “American dream” and that he “promised a stable and secure retirement”.

“I hope he listens in the back room,” Kaptur said. “President Biden, welcome to Ohio. Happy to see you again!”

Kaptur clapped as Biden took the stage.

“God loves you, Marcy,” Biden said. “You are the best. She does everything, unions and foreign policy.

In 2021, Kaptur backed the $3.5 trillion Build Back Better plan and said its passage was “a huge win for the American people.”

The University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Wharton Budget Model projects that the Build Back Better Act will result in a $2.1 trillion increase in spending over 10 years.

Last month, Kaptur told Fox News Digital she would support Biden if he decided to seek another term in 2024.

“A lot can happen in two years, but if President Biden is the nominee, I will support him,” she said. “He was the one who passed a huge infrastructure bill that helped a lot of people in my part of the country.

Majewski admits he faces a challenge to unseat a 40-year-old House member, but he thinks voters in the redesigned constituency are ready for new representation.

“Marcy Kaptur is out of touch with ordinary Americans struggling to fill their gas tanks, shop and support their families,” Majewski said.

Majewski announced he was running for the 9th District Republican nomination before the map was redrawn. The first-time candidate faced long chances to run against State Representative Craig Riedel and State Senator Theresa Gavarone, who had more money and name recognition.

Yet when the results were announced in the May 3 Republican primary, Majewski won the nomination with 35.7% of the vote, compared to 31% for Riedel and 28.5% for Gavarone.

Riedel and Gavarone have peppered the airwaves of northwest Ohio with commercials, but Majewski credits his victory to “hustle and hard work” attending events, knocking on doors, making phone calls and taking the time to listen to voters.

“I was seen as a longtime candidate by some people, but people who thought that were people who don’t understand what Republican voters think about today’s political environment,” said Majewski to The Epoch Times.

“I self-funded my campaign leading up to the primary and spent hours covering the entire district so people could meet me in person. I never considered myself a longshot.

“Establishment Republicans and political pundits firmly believe that you have to be a politician to win a job in Congress. That’s not the case,” Majewski added.

Majewski still hears critics say he’s “just a guy who painted a Trump banner in his backyard,” but he points out he’s a military veteran and has spearheaded million-dollar projects in the nuclear energy industry.

A poll released by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research in June showed that 40% of respondents think rising gas prices are the nation’s top concern, up from 26% since December 2021.

The survey also revealed that 33% of respondents think gas and energy prices are the number one issue.

Gun issues were the biggest concern for 30% of survey respondents, while 16% cited abortion as the most important issue.

Jeff Louderback

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Jeff Louderback is a national reporter for The Epoch Times who is based in Ohio and covers the US Senate, US House, and gubernatorial races in Ohio and surrounding states.

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