The race to take on U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot for his First District congressional seat is heating up.
Democratic Party primary contender Kate Schroder, vying for a chance to unseat U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot in 2020, got some high-profile local endorsements today.
Schroder's primary opponent, Air Force veteran Nikki Foster, received some of her own endorsements last week and announced a high-profile former state representative and gubernatorial primary candidate as her campaign chair.
Mayor John Cranley, State Rep. Brigid Kelly and former Cincinnati City Council member Paul M. Booth all announced they're backing health care expert Schroder in her run for Ohio's First Congressional District.
"@kateforcongress is someone I'm proud to support because she is committed to getting better results and creating more opportunity for the folks in her district," Kelly tweeted today. "She will work every day for hardworking people."
In a tweet, Cranley called Schroder "exactly the type of strong leader we need in DC."
The 42-year-old Clifton resident served as vice president of the Clinton Health Access Initiative and also sits on the Cincinnati Board of Health. A cancer survivor, she will likely make health care a key part of her campaign. Schroder is off to a strong start in the fundraising arena, her campaign says. She raised more than $100,000 in the 24 hours after announcing her campaign last week.
In order to take on 66-year-old Republican Chabot, who has served 11 terms in the district, Schroder will need to beat other Democratic contenders in the primary. Right now, her only opponent is 37-year-old Mason resident Foster, a former U.S. Air Force combat pilot who has grabbed recent headlines calling for impeachment proceedings against Republican President Donald Trump.
Last week, Foster announced former gubernatorial primary candidate and state representative Connie Pillich as her campaign chair. She also netted endorsements from the group Organized Progressives Standing United, Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority Board member Kathy Wyenandt, Deerfield Township Board of Trustees member Kristin Malhotra, Butler County Democratic Party Chair Brian Hester, Middletown NAACP President Dora Bronston, and former president of the Democratic Women's Club of Southwest Ohio Sheridan Lijoi.
“As a Major in the U.S. Air Force, Nikki put her country ahead of her own needs and security, and that’s exactly what she’ll do in Congress," Pillich said in a statement endorsing Foster. "In the twenty years Steve Chabot has been in Congress, health care costs have skyrocketed and families are finding it harder and harder to make ends meet. Nikki’s family has experienced these struggles firsthand, and her life-long commitment to servant leadership is exactly why Nikki will win this seat and deliver real results for the people of Southwest Ohio.”
Other candidates could also jump into the primary.
Whoever prevails in that race will face an uphill battle in a district that has since 2010 included deep-red Warren County as well as the more conservative parts of Hamilton County. Chabot easily beat popular Democrat Aftab Pureval in 2018, with Pureval taking Hamilton and Chabot taking Warren. After a Supreme Court ruling struck down a lower court decision that called Ohio's gerrymandered districts unconstitutional, redistricting won't kick in until 2022.