Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Aftab Pureval announced his addition to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC)’s Red to Blue list March 22, according to a press release.
As the first Democratic Hamilton County Clerk of Courts in over 100 years, Pureval faces a tough road ahead against Steve Chabot (R-OH), the current representative of Ohio’s 1st Congressional District. The Republican incumbent has represented the district since 2011, having previously done so between 1995 and 2009.
The DCCC, which targets highly competitive campaigns, chose 33 races nationwide to prioritize this election cycle. Pureval is the only candidate in Ohio to be added to the committee’s list.
As a result, the DCCC will provide resources for Pureval, including fundraising support and assistance in recruiting staff and volunteers for his campaign.
Following his candidacy announcement in January, Pureval captured the committee’s attention after mobilizing a sizable grassroots fundraising effort. The DCCC added him to their list of “Candidates Leading the Charge” in February, recognizing his former work as an antitrust litigator for the international law firm White & Case LLP.
Pureval later moved back to Hamilton Country, where he worked as a special assistant U.S. attorney for the Department of Justice. He then became an in-house counsel at the Cincinnati-based consumer good corporation Proctor & Gamble.
As part of Pureval’s platform, he reiterates his commitment to “defending women who have been hurt and abused and fight for equality for all.” Economically, he plans to “take on patronage, government waste and save taxpayers money.”
Additionally, Pureval voiced his intent to protect Social Security and work on rebuilding the Western Hills Viaduct to create more job opportunities.
Chabot, his opponent, is also committed to revitalizing the economy, controlling government spending and protecting Social Security. Chabot’s specific interests include health care reformation and expanding veterans’ aid.
Though many Democrats are hopeful that Pureval will emerge victorious on Election Day, Chabot has proven his ability to be re-elected for decades, having secured nearly 60 percent of the vote in the 2016 election.
Like most political races, there has been some tension between the two frontrunners. Chabot’s campaign spokesman criticized Pureval’s residence, saying he “lives in a $400,000 mansion in Hyde Park, which isn’t even in the district,” USA Today reported. By contrast, Chabot lives in Westwood on the west side of Cincinnati.
The Hamilton County auditor listed Pureval’s 2,277 square-foot home at $414,250 in 2015. Chabot’s 3,078 square-foot home, by comparison, was estimated at $111,280.
“Steve Chabot and Donald Trump have pursued a reckless agenda to throw millions of Americans off health care and add 1.5 trillion to the deficit,” Pureval said of Chabot in a press release. The statement suggests ties between the president and Chabot, whom Pureval said supported Trump’s efforts in legislature.
Though Pureval’s campaign has picked up steam in recent months, the road ahead is far from ending. Before Chabot and Pureval can go head-to-head, Pureval must win the upcoming Democratic primary on May 8.
Pureval, 35-year-old son of an India-born father and Tibet-born mother, made a name for himself in 2016 when he pulled off a surprising upset in Hamilton County, winning the county’s clerk of courts seat. The Indian American officially announced his plan to run for Congress Jan. 31 at Avondale, the Ohio-based urban agriculture nonprofit Gabriel’s Place.
The incumbent Chabot, 65, has served as the 1st Congressional District representative for 20 years. He was first elected in 1994 and was unseated in 2008 but won the seat back in 2010 thanks to redistricting which put GOP-leaning Warren County into the 1st District.
Pureval said at his campaign launching announcement that he intends to paint Chabot as a rubber stamp for President Donald Trump, according to a WVXU.org report.
The Ohio-born Pureval earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Ohio State University. During his time at OSU, he served as student body president. Later, Pureval earned his law degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Law.