Dennis Kucinich concedes defeat to Marcy Kaptur in Ohio Democratic primary

WASHINGTON - MARCH 17: U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) speaks during a news conference to announce his vote on the health care reform legislation March 17, 2010 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Kucinich said he will vote in favor of the health care reform legislation.. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Dennis Kucinich
Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Rep. Dennis Kucinich, a liberal establishment in the House, conceded defeat Tuesday night in Ohio's 9th district Democratic primary to longtime Rep. Marcy Kaptur.

The Democratic primary was overshadowed Tuesday night by the competitive contest in Ohio's Republican presidential primary between Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum. The Democratic contest, however, was also hard-fought.

Kucinich made his concession speech just past midnight Wednesday, when Kaptur had a 24-point lead with 84 percent of precincts reporting, according to the Associated Press.

Both well-known Democrats, the 15-term Kaptur ended up competing against the eight-term Kucinich after Ohio lost two congressional districts because of the state's declining population. Kaptur started the race with an edge in the new 9th district, which retained more of her old district than Kucinich's.

Kucinich told Hotsheet in December that he would approach the race "in the spirit of friendship," but ultimately, the race became heated. In his concession speech, the AP reports, Kucinich charged his opponent "ran a campaign lacking in integrity, filled with false truths."

During the campaign, Kucinich -- an outspoken anti-war liberal -- attacked Kaptur for voting to fund "Bush's wars," voting for the Patriot Act, backing the Keystone XL pipeline and opposing gay marriage, among other things. Kaptur, meanwhile, slammed Kucinich for voting against bills that would have brought in funds for new manufacturing jobs and veterans' care.

Outside groups also jumped into the mix: For instance, the Texas-based political action committee Campaign for Primary Accountability ran an ad charging Kaptur of paying her taxes late.

After the results were in, Kaptur said on MSNBC that voters were interested in jobs and the economy.

"Our people are bread and butter people, they want to grow this economy," she said. "They expect the president and expect representatives in the Capitol to represent those interests strongly, and I think that's what they voted for tonight."

Now that she has the Democratic nomination, Kaptur will run in the 9th district against Samuel Wurzelbacher -- also known as "Joe the Plumber" from the 2008 presidential campaign -- who won the GOP nomination.

In another notable Ohio congressional race, seven-year incumbent Republican Jean Schmidt was surprisingly defeated in the GOP primary by outsider Brad Wenstrup, a podiatrist and former Cincinnati mayoral candidate. Wenstrup was holding a 6-point lead with 99 percent of precincts reporting, according to the AP.

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