Washington Democrats could be close to landing their big-time candidate to take on Congressman Steve Chabot this fall.
Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Aftab Pureval is giving serious consideration to challenging Westwood's Chabot in the 1st Congressional District, Politics Extra has learned.
A spokeswoman for Pureval's campaign confirmed he is being recruited, but declined further comment.
"I think he's our strongest candidate," Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley said. "He's the right kind of moderate that I think fits the district and can help move the political center of gravity back to the middle from its right-wing trajectory in Washington."
Pureval was in Washington last week to meet with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which so far has struck out in its aggressive months-long effort to find someone to run in the red-leaning district. The DCCC began courting Pureval last spring, just months after he started his first job in public office.
Washington Democrats also have recruited Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld and Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune, but both have taken a pass. State Rep. Alicia Reece has considered a run against Chabot, who is seeking a 12th term.
Pureval is a good guy as far as I can tell. I was worried about Chabot once Sittenfeld and then Portune balked, but Pureval can win this. Right now the leading Dem in the race is Robert Barr, long time Congregation Beth Adam rabbi here in Cincy and he's got a fair chance of winning, but he has no political experience, whereas Pureval is County Clerk.
Still, either Pureval or Barr would be a welcome change from the awful Chabot, who has been John Boehner's local hatchetman in Ohio for decades.
We'll see, but with both Pureval and Barr now in the race, I'm feeling really good about taking down Chabot once and for all.