In the wake of the recent Supreme Court decision Citizens United vs. FEC allowing unlimited corporate spending on elections, I have been examining the challenges facing political newcomers running for office for my forthcoming film PAY 2 PLAY.
These profiles from the Ohio campaign trail are a chance for candidates to get their message out in a way they might not be able to otherwise, in consideration of the obstacles and considerable expense required to run for office. No endorsement is implied by the inclusion of any of the candidates in this series.
Democratic Primary for U.S. House of Representatives: Ohio's 2nd District
This coming Tuesday, May 4th, Ohioans vote in their primary elections for national and statewide offices. Ohio has long been romanticized as a microcosm of America and a bellwether for national politics. Yet primary elections are a pivotal point in our democratic process, and it often goes ignored by the media and the public, even on the local level. Supporting a candidate early on can make a real impact, as money and momentum are much harder to come by before winning the nomination.
Ohio's 2nd District is currently represented by Republican Jean Schmidt, first elected in 2005 in a special election running against Paul Hackett, a race that drew national attention--Hackett, a Marine having just returned from Fallujah, ran as an anti-war Democrat. His narrow loss suggested that a reliably conservative district stretched across Southern Ohio could one day be in play for Democrats. While the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has eyed Rep. Schmidt's House seat as vulnerable over the past election cycles, Schmidt has nonetheless survived.
This Democratic Primary brings three candidates who look to challenge Rep. Schmidt for her House seat. In the interest of providing an equitable platform, here are video introductions from the candidates, along with their websites, so that they can speak for themselves, without having to pay for it.
Surya "Chili" Yalamanchili
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