Over the past few years, Ohio state rep in district 12, John Barnes, along with a few others has conspired with John Kasich on a bunch of bills that were both bad for Ohio and especially bad for their constituents. For those who don't know, Barnes, along with several of his colleagues has been notoriously appeasing to Republicans, behaving very much like the "independent" Democratic caucus in New York. For example, this is the group that rubber stamped the Republicans' redistricting proposals. Barnes is one of the poster children for Republican appeasement, having been used as a literal trophy by Kasich to make his draconian bills seem "bipartisan".
More on the flip...
Barnes and anti-teacher activist Michelle Rhee recently sent out a mailer using the time honored GOP wedge issue of charter schools and vouchers to split poor neighborhoods' allegiances.
(The Cleveland Plain Dealer is a conservative leaning newspaper)
Barnes is truly a "Democrat" in the mold of Joe Lieberman. Fortunately, this year, there is another option. Jill Miller Zimon has filed to run a primary challenge to John Barnes in this 80% Dem district. This isn't a vanity challenge. This primary challenge has been endorsed and is being funded by the Ohio Democratic Party. She's raised more money than Barnes, has the endorsement of all the major Dem players like the teachers and labor unions, and even has gotten a shoutout and support from Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown himself.
Barnes is clearly scared. Reports of robocalls by US Rep Marsha Fudge and lots of push polling are coming from all over the district. Zimon is fighting back with strong GOTV efforts of her own.
Under normal circumstances, she would be favored to win, but she does face one daunting obstacle besides Barnes' incumbency. This is a 70% African American district that probably would like their rep to be a member of the Ohio CBC. Zimon is from a mostly white and wealthy, but liberal section of the district ( district which cuts across all sorts of community lines--quite a work of gerrymandering)--not an ideal fit for a district that is mostly AA working class. Zimon's path to victory involves both maximizing her turnout in a low turnout primary, and convincing enough folks in the African American and working class communities in the district that Barnes is not representing them.
She is working very hard and would end up being a very good representative in the statehouse. Won't you help give a black eye to John Kasich and help out this weekend? The election is Tuesday.
The stakes are big. John Barnes has already decided to stick it as much as he can to the Ohio Dems. Now that the party is officially challenging him, the good guys have to win or Barnes will go even more Lieberdem on us. Help us win!
The race may be small, but the effect will be huge! Help Jill Miller Zimon today!