Jennifer Brunner to Begin Official Run for Ohio Senate Seat Tomorrow

Robin Marty

Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner officially launches her bid for Senate tomorrow. But is it an uphill battle with her own party?

Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, a Democrat, will be filing the nomination petitions to run for the US Senate in Ohio. She will be officially launching her campaign for the senate seat vacated by retiring Republican Sen. George Voinovich. 

Brunner, Ohio’s first female secretary of state, has been unofficially running for the party endorsement for some time, in a somewhat uphill battle against current Lieutenant governor Lee Fisher. In fact, in an unusual move, members of one county democratic party have endorsed a candidate in a statewide race, choosing Fisher over Brunner for what they claim to be the greater good of the state.

Randy Gonzalez, chairman of the Stark County Democratic Party, said the
party doesn’t always endorse in statewide primary races but did this
year because it believes both candidates can serve Democrats well in
different roles.

“Lee Fisher will be a great senator,” Gonzalez said in an e-mail.

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“This is a very important race, and Jennifer Brunner is a great secretary of state (whom) we do not want to lose.”

Gonzalez said keeping Brunner in her current job will preserve her spot
on the apportionment board that will rework congressional districts
after the 2010 Census. He described that board’s work as “of the utmost
importance to us.”

The DSCC is reportedly also supporting Fisher out of fear Brunner won’t be able to raise enough money to run an effective campaign, despite the fact that Fisher has lost his last two campaigns. However, according to two new polls, Brunner is doing slightly better against Republican candidate Rob Portman than her better funded opponent.

Both democratic candidates are supporters of sexual and reproductive rights, although Fisher does not appear to have a public stance on marriage equality or civil rights. You can view Fisher’s issues list here, and Brunner’s stances here.

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