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    Political notebook

    Kaptur beats Kucinich in redrawn Ohio district

    With his wife Elizabeth at his side, right, US Rep. Dennis Kucinich addressed supporters at Rubin's Restaurant and Deli in Cleveland last night.
    Amy Sancetta/Associated Press
    With his wife Elizabeth at his side, right, US Rep. Dennis Kucinich addressed supporters at Rubin's Restaurant and Deli in Cleveland last night.

    WASHINGTON - Ohio Representative Marcy Kaptur defeated her longtime House colleague Dennis Kucinich for the Democratic nomination to represent Ohio’s redrawn Ninth Congressional District.

    With 84 percent of the district’s precincts reporting early Wednesday, Kaptur had 60 percent of the vote, to 36 percent for Kucinich.

    The victory by Kaptur, 65, the longest-serving woman in the US House, ends Kucinich’s career as an Ohio congressman. He was first elected to the House in 1996, representing a district that includes Cleveland, a city that elected him mayor in 1977. Kucinich, now also 65, sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004 and 2008. He conceded early Wednesday.

    The Kucinich-Kaptur race is the first of at least 10 contests this year between House members of the same party as a result of congressional redistricting following the 2010 census.

    Ohio lost two congressional seats and the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature redrew the Ninth District to stretch along the shore of Lake Erie from Kaptur’s hometown of Toledo to the west side of Cleveland.

    Other races between lawmakers of the same party this year will include a California contest between Representative Howard Berman and fellow Democrat Brad Sherman in a reconfigured San Fernando Vallay district.

    In Florida, Representative John Mica, the Republican chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, is set to run against fellow Republican Sandy Adams in a primary to determine their party’s nomination in a redrawn district on the central east coast.

    At the outset of her campaign against Kucinich, Kaptur said she would emphasize her status on the House Appropriations Committee as the second-most senior Democrat. That seniority gives her the ability to deliver federal aid to the district, to help Ohio “modernize our ports, our railways, our airports,’’ Kaptur said in a Dec. 28 interview.

    Kaptur also focused on Kucinich’s record of opposing defense spending. “I don’t think he’s ever voted for a defense bill in his career,’’ she said.

    Last year, Kucinich forced a House vote on his resolution declaring that President Obama had violated the War Powers Resolution by failing to obtain congressional approval for US support for the NATO airstrikes in Libya.

    Kucinich said Kaptur “ran a campaign lacking in integrity, filled with false truths,’’ according to the Associated Press.

    On the Republican side, Joseph “Joe the Plumber’’ Wurzelbacher was holding a slight lead over Toledo real estate agent Steve Kraus. The winner of the Democratic primary is favored to win in November. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

    Hanscom musicians among military staff cuts in Mass.

    WASHINGTON - These are leaner times for the military budget and that means virtually no one is protected from the budget axe. And for a unique unit at Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford, it is now time to face the music - literally.

    According to a plan outlined to Congress on Tuesday, its taps for the Band of Liberty and its 55 jazz and rock musicians.

    The group, based in New England since 1978, participates in official ceremonies and community parades and entertains troops serving overseas. This month it is performing concerts from Vermont to New Jersey. One of its albums, “Wicked Good,’’ according to the band’s website “presents a CD that uniquely represents Boston.’’

    But after this year, an Air Force band based in Virginia will be responsible for the entire East Coast.

    “There will be fewer performances in this area,’’ said Charles Paone, a spokesman for Hanscom. “The Band of Liberty now covers states of New England and New York.’’

    The announcement is part of a nationwide plan to cut staff that also means Massachusetts will give up other personnel.

    According to the new plan, the Bay State will lose 241 Air Force personnel this year - or 3 percent of the total. The personnel reductions will affect all installations, including Hanscom, Barnes Air National Guard Base, Westover Air Reserve Base, and Otis Air National Guard Base. It will have the greatest impact on the Air National Guard. By October, according to the plan, 8,886 Air Force personnel will remain in the Bay State.

    The cuts come on top of a series of reductions already underway involving contractor personnel that support the Electronic Systems Center at Bedford.

    Bay State lawmakers criticized Tuesday’s announcement.

    “I’m unconvinced that lopsided cuts to an Air Guard with years of institutional knowledge and combat experience is a suitable course of action and the Air Force should reconsider these proposals,’’ Senator Scott Brown, a Republican, told the Globe in a statement. — BRYAN BENDER

    Biden to hit campaign trail with speeches in key states

    WASHINGTON - Vice President Joe Biden is stepping up his efforts to help President Obama win reelection, kicking off a series of speeches in states critical to the campaign.

    Biden will speak at four events in the coming weeks on key issues in the presidential campaign, including an address next week in Ohio, a campaign official says. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss campaign strategy.

    Biden has been a top surrogate for Obama, appearing at fund-raisers around the country and courting voters in battleground states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire. — ASSOCIATED PRESS