There are some big ticket elections happening in Northeast Ohio this year. We have the most competitive Cleveland mayor's race in 16 years, and we have the race to replace now Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia Fudge's old Congressional seat in the 11th district.
That race features 13 candidates, but is considered to be close to a two-woman race between Cuyahoga County Councilwoman Shontel Brown, who is representing the Democratic party's more traditional wing, and former State Senator Nina Turner, representing the more progressive wing of the party.
But looking ahead to the races in 2022, we see a similar divide over where the party base is, this battle with the Ohio GOP.
Senator Rob Portman announced in January, weeks after the riot at the Capitol, that he would not run for a third term. He said at the time, "We live in an increasingly polarized country where members of both parties are being pushed further to the right and further to the left, and that means few people who are actively looking to find common ground."
That sentiment may have been prescient for some of the candidates who would announce their run to replace Portman.
Many of them have been expressing their loyalty to former President Donald Trump, who won the state by eight points in both 2016, and again in 2020.
The current candidates running in the Republican primary include: Former Ohio Republican Party Chairman Jane Timken, Former State Treasurer Josh Mandel, Cleveland businessman Bernie Moreno, Cleveland investment banker Mike Gibbons, and Cincinnati venture capitalist and author J.D. Vance.
The only Democratic challenger so far is Congressman Tim Ryan, from the Youngstown area.
Recently, freelance political writer Clare Malone, who is also a Shaker Heights native, wrote an article in The Atlantic about the Senate election landscape titled, "Ohio Is Now Fully Trumpified." We invited her on the Sound of Ideas to discuss this race, and others that may be affected by the state's swing to the right in recent years.
Also this hour, the annual Blazing Paddles Paddlefest is back on the Cuyahoga River this weekend. We'll talk to Share the River Founder Jim Ridge about river access, and how far the condition of the Cuyahoga has improved.
Finally, Ideastream Public Media's arts team looks at the art of dance returning to stages across Northeast Ohio.
- Jim Ridge, Founder, Share The River
- Clare Malone, Freelance Politics Writer
- Drew Maziasz, Producer, Ideastream Public Media