Ohio’s 1st Congressional District has long been Steve Chabot country.
The Republican lawmaker has represented the Cincinnati area district in the southwest corner of Ohio for all but two years since first winning the seat in 1994.
But thanks in part to redistricting, Chabot is fighting for his political life in November’s elections, even as his party is likely to regain the House majority it lost in the 2018 midterms.
Chabot’s district is one of a handful controlled by Republicans that Democrats aim to flip from red to blue as they try to hold onto their razor-thin majority in the House. And Democrats, while mostly playing defense, are pouring resources into a few GOP controlled seats across the country.
Challenging Chabot is Democratic nominee Greg Landsman, a Cincinnati city councilor
“It’s the worst district he’s [Chabot] ever run in,” Landsman told Fox News. “It’s now the entire city of Cincinnati, which is very problematic for him.”
Amid a rough political climate for incumbents of either party, Landsman highlighted some of the voters he’s talked with say Chabot’s been in Congress “too long.”
Landsman out raised the longtime incumbent during the first six months of this year, and some top nonpartisan political handicappers rate the race as a toss-up. Both the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the re-election arm of the House Democrats, and the House Majority PAC, the top outside group backing House Democrats, have poured resources into the district to support Landsman.
“I think that they see this for what it is, which is a very winnable race and big pickup opportunity and critical of maintaining the majority,” Landsman said of the help he’s receiving from national Democrats.
Jon Conradi, a Chabot campaign consultant, highlighted that the congressman “has a demonstrated track record of winning incredibly tough fights and this one will be no different. Chabot’s campaign has knocked on nearly 100,000 doors and he’s out in the community working incredibly hard and talking with voters every day.”
Republicans argue that Landsman is too liberal for the district.
“Landsman would be a rubber stamp for tax-and-spend agenda of Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden that have led us to this point. We can’t afford their radical policies any longer,” Chabot recently argued on Twitter.
And the congressman is spotlighting his ability to deal with Democrats, tweeting that “I work across the aisle to deliver results for the working families of #OH01. That’s why I’ve consistently been ranked one of the most effective members of Congress.”
But Democrats point out that Chabot was one of the 147 House Republicans who voted on Jan. 6, 2021 — following the attack on the U.S. Capitol — against certifying now-President Biden’s 2020 election win over then-President Donald Trump.
Among the other House Republicans facing rough re-elections are Reps. Don Bacon in Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District, Yvette Herrell in New Mexico’s 2nd District, David Valadao in California’s 22nd District, and Mike Garcia in the Golden State’s 27th District.
“Democrats are going to flip seats across the battlefield because we’ve got candidates with a track record of delivering that voters can rely on,” DCCC spokesperson Chris Taylor touted.
And Taylor argued that “Republicans are running scared because their candidates just don’t pass the smell test.”
But Michael McAdams, communications director for the National Republican Congressional Committee, which is the DCCC’s counterpart, charged that “Democrats’ offensive opportunities have been decimated by their candidates’ radical stances such as working to defund the police and advocating to eliminate the oil and gas industry.”