It's 'Official': Cafaro To Run for Brown's Seat
Though there's been no formal announcement yet, we hear that Capri Cafaro will definitely enter the race for Ohio's 13th Congressional District, the seat being vacated by Sherrod Brown. In a 2004 race for Congress against incumbent Steve LaTourrette, she performed perhaps better than some might have expected (though she still lost by a wide margin). The influential liberal Dem activist Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, who blogs as Daily Kos, called her "a talented and effective candidate." Closer to home, the Scene's Becky Meiser followed her fellow 20-something around the campaign trail long enough to file this memorable profile. As a then-26-year-old, she would have been the youngest woman ever elected to Congress (under the U.S. Constitution, only those 25 or older may hold that office). Cafaro's most formidable opponent will no doubt be Tom Sawyer, the former mayor of Akron and later a popular six-term Congressman from that area. One important blemish to his record that could come back to haunt him: During the Clinton years, he ran into some serious heat from labor unions for his votes in favor of NAFTA, and there are conflicting reports on whether he's since been forgiven. The competition for the endorsements of various unions should be one of the highlights of this race.
As heiress to a large shopping mall fortune, Cafaro is expected to pump $1 million into her own campaign, or well over half of the total budget for the race. While that's of course a substantial benefit in any race, she also ran into some minor flack for her fundraising during the last race. And I mean minor: the Federal Elections Commission, a notoriously toothless agency, fined one of her family members $1,000 and ordered campaign figures to attend FEC seminars.