May 3rd Primary Election Approaches: 11th Congressional Campaign Managers Discuss Competitive Edge and Negative Ads

Brown on Cleveland
Ohio 11th Congressional District CandidatesCourtesy Design by the Brown Report Newspaper

Cuyahoga County, OH. - The aggressive fight for Ohio's House 11th Congressional race is underway. Four candidates are vying for the seat: two Democrats and two Republicans are on the ballot. According to Data-USA, the 11th Congressional district covers approximately 737,465 residents. The Campaign Managers are sweating as the top-to-go getters who succeed on May 3rd will move onto the November 8, 2022, general election.

The Democrat contenders are the incumbent, Shontel Brown, and Former State of Ohio Senator Nina Turner. The Republican candidates include the Former Mayor City of East Cleveland and publisher Eric J. Brewer and Business Owner James Hemphill.

With less than eight days away from the May 3rd primary, yard signs are taking over the roadways and neighborhoods as with any heated election. Billboards and banners pop up all over communities, and commercial ads take over radio and television programs. "Elections get on my nerves. It's a shame how much money they spend to attack their opponents. Every commercial is about what someone has done or said. It's never about what the candidate has done or is going to do", scoffed 78 years-old Dottie Smith. Smith resides in Cleveland Ward 4. "I am a Democrat. I like Shontel, and I like Nina. Like last time, I do not want to see them fight each other. They should have talked to one another. I received mail about Shontel one day, and then I read mail about Nina the next day. Maybe one should have run for congress and the other for another seat. This situation is terrible all around," Smith added.

Brown on Cleveland spoke with Republican Central Committeewoman Donna Walker-Brown. Walker-Brown would not comment regarding the Republican candidates, but before ending the conversation, she stated, "that's historical."

We reached out to 11th congressional candidates' campaign managers to get a general idea to aid voters with information on each candidate. Republican candidates nor their campaign managers responded.

As the 11th Congressional candidates make their final plea to voters and secure last-minute endorsements, Brown on Cleveland posed two questions to their campaign manager.

1. What gives your candidate the competitive edge?

Kara Turrentine, Campaign Manager for Nina Turner for Congress, says, "Nina Turner has a long record of lifting the poor, working poor and barely middle-class families in Cleveland and Greater Cleveland. As a Cleveland City Councilmember and State Senator, her service record is an incredible competitive edge. In addition, Turner for Congress is running a field-first campaign. We are knocking on doors and paying a living wage of $15.00 per hour to canvassers who are spreading the campaign message of Nina Turner. Our team and volunteers are motivated to send a champion to Congress," commented Turrentine.
Kara Turrentine Campaign Manager Nina TurnerCourtesy of Kara Turrentine

"Congresswoman Shontel Brown has spent more than a decade forging relationships with residents, leaders, and businesses in the congressional district and beyond. Her service, leadership, and experiences as a Warrensville Heights City Councilwoman, Cuyahoga County Councilwoman, Democratic Party Chair, and now as our Congresswoman allow her to view many sides of issues and collaborate to produce results for the eleventh congressional district," wrote Darryle Torbert, Brown's Campaign Manager.
Darryle Torbert Campaign Manager Shontel BrownCourtesy of Darryle Torbert

2. What is the expected impact of negative campaign ads?

Torbert, Campaign Manager for Shontel Brown, emphasized, "it's essential that voters understand what's at stake in this election. Our campaign's ads produced and featured promote Congresswoman Brown’s achievements and accomplishments in office. These accomplishments include her vote for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which brings billions to Northeast Ohio for road maintenance, bridge repair, expanding access to high-speed internet, and replacing every single lead pipe in homes throughout the district. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law also brings our section many good-paying, union jobs. Our campaign will continue promoting Congresswoman Brown’s work for our community on Election Day, as we know voters want to know how she is working for all of us."

"Negative ads out against Nina Turner are about distorting her record of achievement to the community. Our opponent is leveraging these negative attacks because of the billionaires funding her campaign that she has to answer. Cleveland is not for sale, and that's why we're talking directly to the community because the only thing standing between the working families of Cleveland and the corporations is Nina Turner," explained Turrentine, Campaign Manager for Turner.

Voters like Smith says they do not like negative political ads. The question is, do they work? Scientific reported that the Journal of Politics 2007 examined the effects of political ads. The authors stated that negative ads tended to be more memorable than positive ones but did not affect voter choice. People were no less likely to turn out to the polls or decide against voting for a candidate who attacked an opponent in an ad.

As the primary election approach, voters will make a choice. Whether their decision will be determined by who is most qualified or what mailer and negative ad they remember, campaign managers will continue to sweat as candidates make their final plea to voters.

May 3, 2022, is election day. The polls are open from 6:30 am to 7:30 pm. Early voting has already started.

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"Brown On Cleveland" features podcast host, licensed social worker, and social justice activist Kimberly F. Brown. Former talk show host with WOVU.95fm. Brown is the Chief Administrator of The Brown Report Newspaper. Brown experience is with investigative reporting.

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