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The sacred bond of friendship is no match for a congressional primary, it seems. This week, while the country mourns the breakup of Kristen and Robert, Washington has its mind on a different estranged couple: Marcy and Dennis. The two Ohio Democrats had it all: Loyal constituents, solidly-blue districts and an enduring friendship that would seemingly last forever. But something came between the two legislators—an insidious force no politician can overcome: The incumbent-vs.-incumbent primary. 

As Roll Call's Shira Toeplitz explains in an enjoyable Beltway trend piece, redistricting has caused a handful of once-friendly congressional colleagues to run against each other in relationship-ending contests. One of the most brutal being the contest between Reps. Dennis Kucinich and Marcy Kaptur, who aren't on speaking terms after Kaptur defeated her fellow Democrat in a March primary:

Rep. Dennis Kucinich declared himself the “president” of Rep. Marcy Kaptur’s “fan club” several years before the Ohio Democrats ran against each other in a March primary. Kaptur defeated Kucinich by a substantial margin, and the two haven’t talked since.

“I haven’t spoken to her,” Kucinich told Roll Call last week. “We haven’t talked.”

“I hardly see him,” Kaptur said a few moments later. “I think he’s probably reevaluating many things.”

And they're not the only ones who've been crushed by the ruthless blood sport:

Similarly, Reps. Bill Pascrell and Steven Rothman dined together at the National Democratic Club ever since they came to Congress in 1996. The two Democrats even sang karaoke on occasion.

But Pascrell and Rothman have made only small talk since their nasty June primary in New Jersey’s 9th district.

“We haven’t sat down to eat yet,” Pascrell, the victor, said. “But we’ve exchanged pleasantries, and that’s where it’s at. Relationships change. Many times relationships are personal.”

The whole piece is well worth reading in full, and is sure to inspire similar trend pieces down the line.  After all, from now until Election Day, 18 more members of Congress will face off due to redistricting. Which love couple will fall next?!


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