…because of course she did
Brown is one of several candidates challenging Nina Turner to replace former Congresswoman Marcia Fudge.
Shontel Brown has picked up a key endorsement in the race for the 11th Congressional District.
Former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton endorsed Brown Wednesday. She made the endorsement on her Twitter account.
“I’m proud to endorse @ShontelMBrown for Congress in the OH special election. Shontel made history as the first Black woman to chair her county Dem party, and she’ll work to help her state and our country recover from COVID,” Secretary Clinton said in the tweet, which you can also see below.
Upon receiving the endorsement, Brown sent out a statement that read:
“Secretary Clinton has been a champion for working families for her entire career, and I am incredibly honored to receive her endorsement. As a volunteer for her campaign in 2016, I was inspired by her message to put women at the head of the table, finally.
“I believe we need more leaders in office who are focused on results over rhetoric. That means a Congresswoman who will fight for affordable, quality, universal healthcare, an end to gun violence, and jobs that can actually support a family. In Washington, my priority will be to always put Northeast Ohio first,” said Brown.
Brown is one of several candidates in the running to fill the position vacated by Marcia Fudge, who was chosen by President Joe Biden to be the United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development earlier this year.
Brown’s campaign says Clinton took 68% of the vote in the Democratic presidential primary in 2016 in the 11th district. It was her strongest performance in the state. In the 2020 presidential election, President Joe Biden secured 73% of the vote in that district.
EUCLID, Ohio — The chair of the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party, Shontel Brown, must resign her position as chair immediately because her role directly conflicts with the bylaws of the county party, and her candidacy for the U.S. House from Ohio’s 11th District creates unique conflicts of interest that are creating a divide among Democrats who are tired of political corruption.
Chairwoman Brown has created a crisis of leadership in the party and is undermining the very foundation of rules the party abides by. The Cuyahoga County Democratic Party’s bylaws, in Section 5, Item 2, state: “Party Officers shall not endorse any issue or candidate in a race where the party made no endorsement.” The county party has yet to even schedule the endorsement meeting, but numerous central committee and executive committee officers of the local party already appear on Ms. Brown’s official endorsement page on her website.
If we are to abide by the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party’s bylaws, there are more than 25 individuals from both committees who have broken their commitment to this bylaw and should be removed. Even more concerning is the process of rectifying these infractions in the party’s rules in part D of Section 5, which states that everyone who has broken this particular rule must be brought before the chair. It is unlikely that the chair will objectively serve as judge and jury and ask people who endorsed her to resign as a result of breaking the Party Unity rules. Nonetheless, the party rules have been broken, and Ms. Brown’s integrity as chair is compromised.
Anyone who has ever campaigned outside the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections will have come in contact with literally thousands of people during an election, more than 90% of whom ask for a copy of the Democratic sample ballot or enter the Board of Elections with a sample ballot in hand. Candidates endorsed by the party are likely to win their elections, because voters in the Greater Cleveland area depend on the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party to vet the candidates worthy of their vote. This is important to consider when thinking about Ms. Brown and the elected officials who have already endorsed her for the U.S. House of Representatives election. As chair, she has the influence to ensure a candidate’s reelection or to tank a candidate’s efforts for reelection.
The Cuyahoga County Democratic Party elects a chair to be its chief executive officer. The bylaws require the chair to work cooperatively with the county’s Democratic Party infrastructure; those serving advise and support the chair. Simply looking at the rules of the county party, there are demonstrable opportunities to abuse the powers of the chair in a political race, which, for a fair-minded person, would have been obvious. However, in this moment, it appears Ms. Brown knows exactly the power she holds and is corruptly using it to further her opportunities to succeed in her run for the 11th Congressional District seat.
It is time for Democrats to stand up and speak out against the erosion of our party. As a lifelong Democrat who has been committed to our collective progress, I am outraged at the cronyism and backroom deals that benefit individuals and not the people they’ve sworn to serve.
Ms. Brown and more than 25 members of the county party’s central and executive committees have clearly broken the rules of the party, and Ms. Brown can in no way serve impartially over a mess she created. It is time for her to resign as chair of the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party forthwith, and for each of the committee members who defied the party’s bylaws to do the same.
Richard Montgomery II is a Euclid resident very active in the local community, particularly in the areas of politics and public policy.