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Boccieri-Renacci race captures Politico's attention

By Doug Published: October 15, 2010

The national political Web site Politico has zoomed in on the 16th Congressional District which includes Stark, Wayne and part of Medina counties.

Former Boston Globe and Wall Street Journal reporter David Rogers, now writing for Politico, says that all the numbers indicate John Boccieri should be out of the race, particularly in a longtime Republican district, but this one is a close race against Republican Jim Renacci.

This is the drama now playing out in Ohio's 16th District, a battleground in November's elections and American classic in its own right.

'Made in America' might be its logo: from the Timken Company's hulking steel plants in Canton to the Wooster Wal-Mart parking lot with its gravel and metal-railed hitching post for the Amish wagons from outlying farms. Lillian Gish and pro football each got their start in the 16th. President William McKinley waged his famous 'front porch campaign' from here in 1896. A century later last March, Natoma Canfield a breast-cancer survivor trying to save her family home in Medina County burst onto the national scene with a letter to President Barack Obama urging action on health care reform.

Much of Rogers' attention is focused on Boccieri's attempts to stay in play as conservative groups spend heavily in the district.

The 60 Plus Association, a Virginia-based conservative advocacy group, has spent close to $600,000 on such television spots, accusing Boccieri of flip-flopping and choosing Pelosi over the district's seniors. The ads are part of greatly expanded national role for the group this election cycle after benefiting from what Republican sources describe as an influx of funds from the billionaire brothers, David and Charles Koch, strong opponents of Obama's policies.

As the 60 Plus barrage runs down, a new tag team moved in this past week to fill the breach. The Republican-leaning National Federation of Independent Business was first in with about $500,000 for anti-Boccieri spots aimed more directly at federal spending than health care per se. Hovering in the background and likely next in line is American Crossroads a bigger power player founded with the help of Rove, who starred here in a Sept. 28 Renacci fundraiser.

The complete Politico article is available here.

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