Joyce Beatty Denies Mary Jo Kilroy’s Comeback Bid in Ohio

Posted March 6, 2012 at 11:06pm

Former Ohio House Minority Leader Joyce Beatty defeated former Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy in the 3rd district Democratic primary on Tuesday, denying the one-term Congresswoman’s comeback bid.

Beatty bested Kilroy, who lost re-election in the GOP wave of 2010, 38 percent to 35 percent, according to the Associated Press.

When Ohio Republicans redrew the Congressional map late last year, they crafted the new 3rd district to collect all the Democratic voters in the Columbus area. The result is a strong Democratic performing seat, and the party’s nominee will in all likelihood be the next Member of Congress.

Beatty served in the state House for nearly nine years until 2008, and Ohio insiders said she maintained a strong political organization in Columbus since then. She used that support to overcome Kilroy’s name identification advantage.

If Beatty wins the general election, as expected, her victory will mark the first time in history that Ohio will have two black Members of Congress.

Kilroy only served one term in Congress before being defeated by Rep. Steve Stivers (R). In a 2008 open-seat contest, Kilroy defeated Stivers by just more than 2,000 votes in one of the closest races of the cycle. Republicans redrew Stivers’ 15th district to make it safer for him, including stretching the district south and west toward West Virginia.

Also in the 3rd district Democratic primary, state Rep. Ted Celeste garnered 12 percent of the vote, while Columbus City Councilwoman Priscilla Tyson received 15 percent.

In other primary results Tuesday, Republicans officially nominated state Treasurer Josh Mandel as their standard bearer to take on Sen. Sherrod Brown (D). Brown, who is seeking his first re-election in the Senate, is currently favored to win that contest, although GOP operatives are optimistic that it will become more competitive before the fall.