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“I am joining with my colleagues to introduce the Freedom to Vote Act, to return the power in our democracy to the people where it belongs. ...Republican extremists are attempting to hand power to election deniers, dark money groups, and big money corporate special interests. We won’t let that happen. We’re fighting to ensure that everyone has an equal voice in the decisions that govern our lives.”
(Rep. Kaptur press release as co-sponsor of Freedom to Vote bill, 7/18/23)

 

Rep. Kaptur has been described in the media as: “an economic populist from America’s heartland with progressive values and a conservative disposition.” (Washington Post, 8/26/19)

 

BACKGROUND + EXPERIENCE

A native of Toledo, Ohio + the daughter of working-class parents, Rep. Kaptur started working for the Democratic party at age 13. She has been in Congress continuously since 1983, making her the longest serving woman in Congressional history.

 

Kaptur received a BA from the University of Wisconsin + a Masters in Urban Planning from the University of Michigan. She did doctoral work at MIT in Finance + Urban Planning. Early in her professional career, she worked as a planner in Toledo, Ohio + subsequently was a domestic policy advisor in the Carter Administration. In 2022, redistricting moved Kaptur from a safe Biden district (Biden +9) to a much more competitive Trump district (Trump +1). In a stroke of good fortune for Kaptur, the Republicans nominated a candidate who was toxic enough that they soon withdrew all support, allowing Kaptur to prevail by 56% to 43%. The 2024 race will be much tougher.

 

ISSUES

Rep. Kaptur has supported President Biden’s stated position on issues 100% of the time.

Her legislative priorities, as detailed on her website, include:

Agriculture

Campaign finance reform

Education + student loans

Energy independence

Environment

Foreign affairs

Great Lakes restoration

Health Care

Jobs + the economy

National security

Retirement security

Trade

Wall Street reform

Veterans

 

POLITICS IN OHIO

As a result of the 2020 Census, Ohio redistricting strongly favors Republicans. Most recently (9/23), the Courts ruled that the gerrymandered districts from 2022 will be used in 2024. Ohio’s 15 House Representatives are split between 10 Republicans + five Democrats. Though Ohio is increasingly a red state, several incumbent Democrats are in significantly competitive races for 2024 including Representatives Kaptur, Emilia Sykes + Greg Landsman.

 

In addition, US Senator Sherrod Brown is up for re-election in what will be an extremely competitive race against the winner of the Republican primary on March 19, 2024. Rep. Kaptur’s Republican opponent is unknown at this point + will likely be decided in the March primary. There are two declared Republican candidates at this point: Steve Lankenau + Craig Riedel.

 

Ohio has long been a key battleground state in Presential elections until Trump’s 8% margin of victory in 2020. Ohio is trending increasingly Republican with strong MAGA influence as demonstrated by JD Vance’s victory for Ohio Senate in 2022.

 

COMMITTEES AND CAUCUSES

Committees:

Appropriations Committee including Ranking member on Energy + Water Development Subcommittee

Caucuses:

Arts

Poland

Ukraine

Baltic States

Climate Solutions

Blue Collar​

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