Betty Sutton

Party: Democrat
State: Ohio - 13th District
What you need to know: Sutton is a strong believer in progressive foreign policies and arms control.

Democrat - Incumbent
Endorsed for U.S. House of Representatives by Council for a Livable World Candidate Fund

In 1992, at age 29, Rep. Betty Sutton became the youngest woman elected to the Ohio House of Representatives. She served for eight years, working as an effective advocate on healthcare and employment issues and sponsoring legislation to protect women from domestic abuse. In 2000 she stepped down because of term limits and began work as a labor lawyer.

The 2010 race attracted national attention when the local Republican Party mailed out a newsletter that urged voters to “take Betty Sutton out of the House and put her back in the kitchen!”

In 2006, Rep. Sherrod Brown announced he was vacating his seat representing Ohio’s 13th Congressional District to run for Senate. Sutton entered the race for his open seat and, with an endorsement from PeacePAC, defeated her Republican opponent by a solid margin.

Sutton is a strong believer in progressive foreign policies and arms control. In her first two terms in office, she has earned 90% on the PeacePAC voting record. She voted against programs to build new nuclear weapons systems and against funding for expensive and ineffective national missile defense programs. She opposed the war in Iraq before she was elected and then voted to bring U.S. troops home. She has also voted in favor of bringing troops home from Afghanistan and limiting the Pentagon budget.

Sutton was easily reelected in 2008, but she faced a tough challenge in 2010. Wealthy car dealer Tom Ganley invested significant amounts of his fortune in challenging Sutton. Ganley was national security hawk that advocated “peace through strength.”

The race attracted national attention when the local Republican Party mailed out a newsletter that urged voters to “take Betty Sutton out of the House and put her back in the kitchen!”

PeacePAC endorsed Sutton once again, and despite being outspent by Ganley by a nearly five to one margin, Sutton emerged victorious.

Due to population shifts, Ohio lost two congressional seats this year in the redistricting process that was controlled by Republicans. Sutton has been drawn into the same district as a Republican incumbent, Rep. Jim Renacci - the richest GOP freshman - who reported a minimum net worth of $35.9 million in 2011. Renacci was swept into office in the Republican wave of 2010. His campaign that year focused on criticism of President Obama’s economic and healthcare policies.

Since being elected, he has been a reliable vote for the Republican leadership. In the current session of Congress, Renacci has repeatedly voted against withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan, in favor of costly Cold War era weapons systems and against funding for the United Nations.

Once again, Sutton is at a financial disadvantage. Recent financial reports showed Renacci with $400,000 more in the bank than Sutton. He is also likely to receive substantial support from national Republican special interest groups.

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Betty Sutton for Congress
Council for a Livable World
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