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The Kaptur-Kucinich contest upset many in Ohio’s Democratic hierarchy, pitting two well-known and experienced liberal lawmakers against each other, thus guaranteeing that one will not be returning to Washington. The state lost two seats in redistricting, with the GOP-drafted map putting the two incumbents in the same new district.

Ms. Kaptur, 65, joined the House of Representatives in 1983, six years after Mr. Kucinich was first elected.

Both drew on famous friends for endorsements, with actor Tom Hanks and former GOP presidential candidate Bob Dole endorsing Ms. Kaptur, while country music icon Willie Nelson was one of a number of celebrities taking to the road to raise money for Mr. Kucinich.

Although the two lawmakers have been friends, in recent weeks the election turned increasingly nasty, with sparring about voting records, the war in Iraq and jobs.

Mr. Kucinich, whose former district encapsulated much of Cleveland, has a storied history there. He was dubbed the “boy mayor” after taking office at age 31. During his time in Washington, he has raised his profile as an outspoken progressive and two-time presidential candidate with Hollywood friends and a national image.

The more low-key Ms. Kaptur has touted herself as a leader deeply engaged in her district with clout as one of the senior Democrats on the powerful House Appropriations Committee. She argued while campaigning that Mr. Kucinich’s “focus has wandered,” and she ran ads attempting to link him with a former Cuyahoga County commissioner on trial on federal racketeering charges.

Mr. Kucinich dubbed her ads as “Swift-boating” tactics, as each side sought to play up differences in personal style, given their similar voting records.

Ms. Kaptur had a base in her old district in Toledo, while Mr. Kucinich ran stronger in his native Cleveland. The primary battle centered on swing voters in the center of the new district around the city of Lorain, which was not in either lawmaker’s old district.

The attack advertising was fueled in part by super PAC money from outside the state, highlighting the national attention the race has drawn in a presidential election year.

This article was based in part on wire service reports.