Deadline Now: U.S. Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur
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Deadline Now: U.S. Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur

Friday, August 10, 2012

Toledo's Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio's 9th Congressional District) has been in the House of Representatives longer than any other woman now serving. She's heavily favored to win reelection in November

After 30 years in office, why does she she think people should send her back to the Capitol for another term? What does she hope to accomplish if elected?

Here are Jack Lessenberry's Final Thoughts for this edition of "Deadline Now:"

I’m not sure there is such a thing as a safe seat in Congress anymore. The late Thomas Ludlow Ashley thought his hold on Toledo’s seat in the House was secure – until he lost in a landslide in nineteen eighty. Two years later, Marcy Kaptur won the seat.

She’s now been there two years longer than Ashley served. If you are fifty-seven years old and have always lived in Toledo, you have only been represented by three members of the House in your lifetime, one of whom was only there for two years. During that same stretch of time, there have been eleven U.S. Presidents.

However, that’s not necessarily an indication that Marcy Kaptur has been there too long. On the contrary, she has easily won the approval of the voters fifteen straight times. We sometimes forget that we have always had congressional term limits in this country; they are called elections, and happen every two years.

The voters have seen fit to return Marcy Kaptur, every time, and none of her elections has been close. My guess is that the congresswoman has lasted so long partly because she knows her district and, most of the time, votes the way most residents would want her to. But I think what’s more important is that she has always remained part of this place. She was born here, grew up here, and still lives with her brother Steve in the home in which she grew up.

Many years ago, she saw her own father have to give up running the store that was his dream, and take another job partly so his family could have health insurance. In recent years, far too many Toledoans have gone through the trauma of not having health insurance and not being able to find any job.

What worries me is that too many members of Congress don’t seem sufficiently worried about this. What worries me more is a fear that some don’t think anything can be done about this, or about the unfair trade practices and the loss of American jobs overseas.

Marcy Kaptur and I are old enough to remember when a young inspiring American president told us that “one person can make a difference and every person should try.”

You can disagree with Congresswoman Kaptur’s positions. But when it comes to making a difference I don’t think anyone has ever accused her of being unwilling to try.