Dayton Democrat launches challenge to longtime GOP rep

Dayton Democrat launches challenge to longtime GOP rep
© Desiree Tims/ Twitter

Desiree Tims, a local activist from Dayton, Ohio, who formerly served as an aide to Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownCritics pounce as Facebook crypto project stumbles Trump administration blocked consumer watchdog from public service loan forgiveness program: report Democrats fear Ohio slipping further away in 2020 MORE (D-Ohio), on Wednesday will be launching a challenge for Rep. Michael Turner's (R-Ohio) congressional seat.

Tims’s campaign said she will announce her candidacy for the state’s 10th Congressional District at a morning press conference. The campaign will mark Tims’s first run for public office.

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In prepared remarks for her campaign launch, Tims attacks Turner for failing to provide "safety and security" for Dayton families with gun control legislation in the wake of a mass shooting that devastated the city earlier this month and left nine people dead. 

“I stand here as a lifelong Daytonian, grieving for the lives that have been ended or changed by the mass shooting just a few days ago,” she states in the remarks. “Our community is still healing from this tragedy, and it is, sadly enough, one that could have been prevented.”

“The fact is Mike TurnerMichael Ray TurnerHouse questions Volker as impeachment probe ramps up Republicans show signs of discomfort in defense of Trump   GOP battens down the hatches after release of Trump whistleblower complaint MORE has failed the safety and security of our families over and over again. Yet he still believes he deserves the privilege of representing those families in Congress,” she continues. “Dayton deserves better. And we can elect real representation. Together, we can be the change.”

Turner's office responded to Tims's gun control comments by pointing The Hill to statements made by the Republican congressman days after the mass shooting, in which he voiced public support for a ban on “military-style weapons."

“I will support legislation that prevents the sale of military-style weapons to civilians, a magazine limit, and red flag legislation. The carnage these military-style weapons are able to produce when available to the wrong people is intolerable.”

“I believe these are necessary steps forward in protecting our country and a testament to American values, which include protecting human life,” Turner said of an assault weapons ban at the time.

“I understand not every shooting can be prevented or stopped from these measures, but I do believe these steps are essential,” he said then, while also adding he still "strongly" supports the Second Amendment.

"I strongly support the Second Amendment, but we must prevent mentally unstable people from terrorizing our communities with military-style weapons," he said.

Tims calls her bid for office a chance for voters to “come together to defeat penthouse politicians.”

“The fact is, our community deserves a representative who will fight for them every single day. Our community deserves a representative who understands their struggle,” she adds in the remarks.

The 31-year-old Democrat was born and raised in Dayton, and graduated from Dunbar High School. She attended Xavier University and Georgetown University Law. She interned at the White House under former President Obama and served as an aide on Capitol Hill for Brown and Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandSanders seeks spark from Ocasio-Cortez at Queens rally Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — House passes resolution rebuking Trump over Syria | Sparks fly at White House meeting on Syria | Dems say Trump called Pelosi a 'third-rate politician' | Trump, Graham trade jabs Senate confirms Trump's Air Force secretary pick MORE (D-N.Y.).

If elected, Tims will become the first woman and African American to serve as the district's representative.

Turner is currently serving his ninth term in the House. He easily won reelection in 2018 with 56 percent of the vote.

Updated at 9:25 a.m.