Politics & Policy

Kilroy Race Profiled

Mary Jo Kilroy, the vulnerable (and very liberal) freshman Democrat in Ohio’s 15th District, has been getting a good deal of press recently due to her race’s status as one of the most competitive in the state. For those unfamiliar with the race, Associated Content provides a decent profile. Some highlights:

[On Kilroy’s chances] It’s difficult to say with any certainty in late August, but her chances of re-election look slim. Historically, it has been a Republican district, though recent races have been neck-and-neck. Funding has been about even, with neither candidate having a decisive edge, according to OpenSecrets.org. It’s a tight race, but Kilroy has the benefit of having a record to spin, and historically incumbents usually manage to keep their seat by margins of 85 to 98 percent, per OpenSecrets.org. But in close districts all over the country, it’s races just like this one in which incumbents are most at risk due to the prevailing anti-incumbent mood. …

[On the differences between the candidates]

Wall Street Reform: As the Columbus Dispatch reports, this may well be the key issue between the two candidates. As a member of the House Committee on Financial Services, Kilroy is proud of her work on the recent reform bill, including the creation of a consumer-protection agency and executive compensation disclosure requirements. [Republican candidate Steve] Stivers was a lobbyist for Bank One, so Kilroy may try to make up some ground in this area. For his part, Stivers is arguing that not only is he proud of his work for Banc One, but also that the legislation has little to do with financial reform and has some provisions, including one that makes it easier to sue credit-rating agencies, that favor lawyers such as Kilroy.

Health Care: Stivers opposes the current health care reform legislation passed during Kilroy’s term, referring to it as government run-health care. While he acknowledges that cost and access are issues that Congress must address, he opposes the current approach. Kilroy argues that her vote for reform has provided benefits by closing the so-called “donut hole” in prescription drug coverage and by preventing insurance companies from denying access due to pre-existing conditions.

Energy Independence: Kilroy believes alternative energies and a reduction of carbon emissions are an important aspect of reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil, in securing the homeland and in cleaning up the environment. Stivers feels the cap-and-tax plan will be a job-killer, and that the best way to approach energy independence is to encourage an energy plan that emphasizes nuclear and clean coal options, along with green-energy technology.

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