When U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci cast a vote to set in motion a federal government shutdown last fall, Pete Crossland asked a question: Which Democrat would challenge the two-term Republican incumbent in the 16th U.S. House District? The ungainly, gerrymandered district runs from Westlake in Cuyahoga County into western Medina County, covering all of Wayne County, then turning east into parts of Summit, Portage and Stark counties.
The answer? Pete Crossland eventually jumped into the race. We recommend his election in the Democratic primary on May 6.
Crossland, a retired political science professor at Kent State University, brings considerable experience and knowledge to the contest. He served for two decades on the Summit County Council, devoting much attention to social services, and before that, 10 years in the Ohio House.
The Copley Township resident argues that Renacci talks about bipartisanship but acts, or votes, to the contrary. He points to Renacci showing little flexibility on such issues as immigration reform and gun regulation. He reminds that Renacci has supported legislation that calls for establishing “personhood” at conception. Crossland faults him for failing to embrace the necessary give-and-take of legislating. He wants to ensure that Renacci faces more than a token challenge in the Republican-leaning district.
The other Democrat in the primary race is James Donenwirth of the Cleveland area.