Marcy Kaptur, the congresswoman-elect from Toledo, did not equivocate about her attitude toward the Reagan administration's economic programs during her campaign this fall.
"I'm the candidate in the race who believes that Reaganomics isn't working," she said.
A fiery campaigner who was given only an outside chance of defeating freshman Rep. Ed Weber in the 9th Congressional District, she combined a sharp attack on the policies of the administration with strong support from organized labor to upset her well-funded opponent.
But Kaptur, 36, is no stranger to Washington. She served on the White House Domestic Policy staff during the Carter administration, was deputy secretary of the National Consumer Cooperative Bank and earlier was associated with the National Center for Urban Ethnic Affairs. At the time she decided to challenge Weber, she was working on her doctorate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Two years ago, Weber ousted longtime Rep. Thomas L. Ashley, who had represented the Toledo area for 26 years. Weber criticized Ashley for losing touch with the district and tried to resurrect that issue this year against Kaptur by noting she had lived more in Washington than in Toledo in recent years.
But Kaptur is a Toledo native who grew up in a Polish neighborhood, graduated from the University of Wisconsin and later the University of Michigan, and served her home town an urban planner.
She was not the first choice of some local Democrats to make the race against Weber, but she was a vigorous campaigner who knew her issues and successfully linked Weber to the administration's budget cuts in social programs and the high unemployment in Ohio.
She also profited greatly from the financial and other support she received from labor, who saw her race as a test of its political power.
The Toledo economy is heavily dependent on the automobile industry, and Kaptur says one of her interests as a member of the House will be finding ways to revitalize America's basic industries.