Former VP Biden Endorses Ohio Congressional Challenger Harbaugh

May 16, 2018

In the latest sign that Democrats see Northeast Ohio’s 7th Congressional District in play, former Vice President Joe Biden has endorsed Ken Harbaugh. Here's more on the development in the campaign challenging three-term incumbent Republican Bob Gibbs.

Harbaugh is a former Navy pilot who headed a nonprofit that sends emergency response teams of veterans to disasters around the world. In his endorsement, Biden praised the work, calling Harbaugh “a fighter with a history of standing with people on their hardest days.”

The only other Ohio endorsement from Biden so far is for gubernatorial candidate Rich Cordray.

Harbaugh easily won his Democratic primary last week in a campaign that included claims that Republicans spent money to try to boost the profile of his underfunded Democratic challenger, Patrick Pikus. Congressman Gibbs easily beat two opponents.

Bob Gibbs was elected in the tea party wave of 2010 and has easily beaten challengers since, including in this month's Republican primary.
Credit M.L. SCHULTZE / WKSU PUBLIC RADIO
Ohio's 7th District meanders through much of the rural eastern part of the state.
Credit State of Ohio

Last month’s campaign filings showed Harbaugh raised nearly $1.2 million – nearly twice what Gibbs raised. But Gibbs has nearly twice as much cash on hand.

The district stretches from up near Lake Erie, southwest past Mount Vernon and back northeast through Canton. Sabato's Crystal Ball lists the district at "leans Republican." But Harbaugh has been holding a series of "Country over Party" town halls, including one next week in Dover.