Thursday, February 5, 2009

Ohio Dems Poised to Duke it out Over Voino's Senate Seat

Well this is getting interesting. George Voinovich's announcement of his retirement last month has set off a flurry of activity as politicos maneuver to secure support in an effort to get the party nomination.

On the GOP side, Rob Portman looks to be taking a commanding lead as John Kasich and Kevin Coughlin are aiming for the governor's office.

On the Democratic side, things are heating up and are poised to turn nasty as some heavyweights are sticking their toes in the water and the Governor is choosing sides. Lt. Governor Lee Fisher, longtime rumored as interested in the Senate seat, looks like he is ready to make it official. It doesn't hurt that Governor Ted Strickland has all but endorsed him: "My commitment is to him first....I believe Lee would be the strongest candidate if he were to choose to run. I don't say that to disparage Jennifer. She would be a very strong and credible candidate."

Jennifer who? Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner of course. Though many want Brunner to run for reelection, successfully overseeing one historic election is probably enough. How can you top 2008? If Brunner jumps in, it will be a hard fought primary. Though Fisher has the Governor on his side, Brunner likely has Senator Sherrod Brown, her longtime mentor. She also has a Profiles in Courage award and the likely support of Emily's List and powerful women in the U.S. Senate.

Over the next several weeks, expect much more news on the topic. Of course, if Strickland becomes President Obama's choice as Secretary of Health and Human Services, Fisher becomes governor and Brunner has a clearer path. Of course if that happens, Representatives Tim Ryan, Zack Space, and Marcy Kaptur all might think more seriously about taking the plunge...

1 comment:

Martin said...

Wow...I hadn't heard Strickland's name come up for HHS until I saw the link. I can't imagine the Ohio Democratic Party would be happy with that. I think the Reps would have more ammo on Brunner than Fisher.

One thing is for sure, next year is going to be great.

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