Ohio Democratic House challenger urges party to ‘pivot,’ consider swing-state senator over Biden

An Ohio Democrat seeking election to the U.S. House believes her party is in danger with President Biden at the top of the 2024 ticket and called on the party to pivot to a new candidate.

The comments from Tamie Wilson, the Democrat challenging incumbent GOP Rep. Jim Jordan to represent Ohio’s 4th Congressional District, came in a lengthy statement to Fox News Digital following Biden’s debate performance against former President Trump Thursday.

“As a candidate running against an extremist like Jim Jordan, the stakes couldn’t be higher for the future of our country,” Wilson said. “After watching the presidential debate, I was left with the same question that many of my constituents are asking me: Can the president defeat the MAGA agenda once again?”

Wilson, seeking to represent a district that overwhelmingly backed former President Trump in previous elections, acknowledged the importance of “winning over independent voters,” claiming it’s the only way Democrats can win elections where Biden isn’t favored.

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“In a race like mine, winning over independent voters is the only path to victory, and I am concerned that the top of the ticket may make that effort more difficult,” she said. “The fight to defeat dangerous extremists like Jim Jordan is so important that I am willing to call the question.”

Though she respects Biden, Wilson said she believes her party is likely to have better odds in the presidential election if someone like Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, was leading the challenge against Trump.

“I have immense respect for President Biden, and I am thankful for his decades of service, but if the Democrats would choose to pivot, I hope they look toward a candidate like my Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown,” she said. “We need Sen. Brown to remain in the Senate, but if Democrats decide to consider their options, we must look to a leader who can identify with voters across the political spectrum.”

Speaking with a raspy voice and delivering rambling answers, Biden struggled during many portions of the debate. Several political analysts noted, however, that the president sharpened his answers as the debate progressed.

Biden’s uneven and, at times, halting performance grabbed the vast majority of headlines from the debate and sparked a new round of calls from political pundits, publications and some Democrats for the president to step aside as the party’s standard-bearer. Top Biden allies have pushed back against such talk as they defended the president and targeted Trump for “lying” throughout the debate.

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Biden, on the day after his debate performance, aimed to address Democratic Party panic.

“I know I’m not a young man, to state the obvious,” Biden, at 81 the oldest president in the nation’s history, told cheering supporters at a Friday afternoon rally in the crucial battleground state of North Carolina.

“Folks, I don’t walk as easy as I used to. I don’t speak as smoothly as I used to. I don’t debate as well as I used to,” Biden acknowledged. “But I know what I do know. I know how to tell the truth. I know right from wrong. And I know how to do this job. I know how to get things done. And I know, like millions of Americans know, when you get knocked down you get back up.”

Despite the president’s performance, Wilson, an executive committee member of the Delaware County Democratic Party, said she will support Biden if he is her party’s presidential nominee in this fall’s election.

“If President Biden is the nominee against Donald Trump, I will support him without fail as I have in the past, but I do have the courage to ask if he is our best option out loud,” she said. “If Democrats want to win, we need to do better or something different. The moment is too important to act otherwise.”

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Wilson, a Columbus native who attended Otterbein University, defeated her primary challenger in March to serve as her party’s nominee to represent the state’s 4th District in this year’s general election. She will face Jordan, the popular nine-term GOP incumbent, Nov. 5.