Rep. Betty Sutton is in a tight Member-vs.-Member race for the state’s 16th district against her Republican rival, Rep. Jim Renacci.
It’s a conservative-leaning district, so Sutton must run several points ahead of the president to win another term. If she loses, Democrats will argue it’s not indicative of her campaign or her abilities as a candidate. Local operatives describe Sutton one of the hardest-working House Members in the state and suggested she would still make a strong statewide candidate next cycle.
“I think it’s drowned out, to be honest with you,” said former Rep. John Boccieri, the Democrat whom Renacci defeated in 2010. “There’s so much negative advertisement on. People who are spending money from now to Election Day, and are running negative ads, are not going to stand out.”