COLUMBUS, Ohio — Representative Mary Jo Kilroy, one of nearly three dozen freshman Democrats elected on the coattails of President Obama, has been true to her campaign vows. She supported virtually every component of the Obama agenda, and she recently stood beside House Financial Services chairman Barney Frank of Newton to declare her pride in backing a financial regulatory bill.
Now, however, the Ohio Democrat is in the midst of a bitter reelection campaign, forced to defend her vote on financial reform. And health care. And climate change. And federal stimulus spending.
Like many first-term Democrats, Kilroy is hoping that her support of Obama’s priorities will help reelect her, even as Republicans plan to use the same votes against her. Fighting for her political life, Kilroy exemplifies the challenge facing the freshman class of Democrats across the country as the party strives to retain control of the US House.