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The 17th District Congressional Race

Friday, September 6, 2002 at 4:08 PM

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Voters in Akron, Youngstown, and Warren have an important choice to make. The newly-redrawn 17th Congressional district challenges the way its residents think about their political representation. Youngstown and Akron used to be divided by Congressional boundaries. Next year, they'll be represented by the same person in the U.S. House of Representatives. With Congress closely divided, the national Democratic and Republican parties are closely involved in the campaign. ideastream's April Baer spoke to both.

There are three declared candidates for the seat. Jim Traficant is the former representative from Youngstown. Convicted on corruption charges, has said he intends to run from prison, as an independent.

Ann Womer Benjamin Interview [Listen]
The Republican Party has selected Ann Womer Benjamin as its candidate in the 17th. A native of Shaker Heights and graduate of Case Western Reserve Unviersity, she’s serving her fourth term in the Ohio House of representatives. During her time in the state legislature, she’s become chair of the Ohio Hosue Criminal Justice Committee, and has served on several others concerned with finance and higher education. ideastream’s April Baer recently spoke with Ann Womer Benjamin about the new look of the 17th, and how she intends to fit it.

Tim Ryan Interview [Listen]
The Democrats’ candidate in the 17th is a young man who shocked Northeast Ohio by upsetting a long-serving Congressman in the May primary. Tim Ryan is 29 years old, and—like his republican opponent—a state legislator. He represents the 32nd district. As he told ideastream’s April Baer, his entry into politics began with one the his opponenents on this year’s ballot.

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