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Politics is big in these parts, and we’ve got it covered. John Arthur Hutchison and other staff writers will offer their inside information on the events, big news and little moments of the local political scene in Lake, Geauga and eastern Cuyahoga counties.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Mildly curious of possible U.S. Senate Democratic primary

I was somewhat surprised to see that both Ohio Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher and Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner have now decided to run in a Democratic primary in 2010 for U.S. Senate.

They are seeking to replace Republican Sen. George V. Voinovich who said he won't seek re-election and plans to retire to spend more time with his family.

Perhaps Fisher and Brunner feel they can make a difference in Washington serving loftier goals and, for now, are throwing their names into the hat to see what may happen.

Keep in mind a win comes with a 6-year term, two years longer than their current office. Running once every six years would be a lot easier than running once every four.

Both Democratic candidates are probably more well-known statewide at this point, than former U.S. Rep. Rob Portman, who is the only announced candidate on the Republican side.

My guess, as of now, is there won't be more than one Republican candidate. One reason is that I wonder, in this economy, whether there is enough money to spread around?

If there is another Republican candidate forcing a contested primary (perhaps state Auditor Mary Taylor?), I look for both Fisher and Brunner to stay in the Democratic race to the end.

But if there is just one Republican showing interest, I'll watch for Fisher or Brunner to possibly drop their Senate bid and seek re-election to their current office.

-- John Arthur Hutchison

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