February 17th, 2009
03:55 PM ET
14 years ago

Two Democrats jump into Ohio senate race

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/17/art.brunner.gi.jpg caption=" The Senate Democratic primary race is likely to be competitive."](CNN) - Two of the biggest names in Ohio Democratic politics launched campaigns for the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, setting up a high-profile primary battle for the right to face off against Republican Rob Portman in 2010.

Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner and Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher are both seeking the seat left open by Republican senator George Voinovich, who announced his retirement in January.

Brunner, perhaps best known outside Ohio for involvement in voter registration lawsuits in the weeks before to the 2008 presidential election, announced her bid this afternoon in email and web video sent to supporters.

Citing her experience as a small business owner and taking cues from President Obama’s economic recovery plan, she sketched a rough plan for job creation in a state with an unemployment rate approaching 8 percent.

“We’ve come too far to send the same people who got us into this crisis back to Washington,” Brunner said in a web video, a likely reference to Portman, a former congressman and top official in the Bush administration.

Fisher, who had already opened an exploratory committee and has the backing of Ohio’s popular governor, Ted Strickland, was not about to cede tomorrow’s headlines to his new rival.

Shortly after Brunner’s announcement, Fisher organized an evening press conference at the state house in Columbus to formally announce his candidacy, according to the Cleveland Plain-Dealer.

Both Democrats lead Portman in a hypothetical matchup, with Fisher holding a slight advantage in surveys.

According to a Quinnipiac poll of Ohio registered voters released earlier this month, Fisher leads Portman 42 to 27 percent, with 29 percent undecided. Brunner holds a 38 to 28 percent edge over Portman, with 31 percent undecided.

Filed under: Ohio
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. Cory in Canada.

    GET REAL! >>>>>>>>>>>>> Ula Nejad Sacramento, Ca

    February 17, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  2. matt

    hahaha, JENNIFER BRUNNER is AWFUL. Like, I would vote for ANY other democrat before I voted for her. She could possibly be one of the most pathetic self serving democrats on the planet. Boo that sorry woman

    February 17, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  3. Jim

    Everyone points fingers. Democrats at the republicans, republicans at the democrats. It sure would be nice to have a candidate that did not fall along the party lines, but rather fell along the line of the people.

    We need this nation back, be it republican or democrat. Do you folks not see that? We do not have it now. This stimulus bill that many applaud and many put down is a prime example. The majority of those that voted for it DID NOT KNOW WHAT THEY WERE VOTING FOR. They were led by Pelosi and Reid, both of which had a lot at stake for their individual states. If you really want change, get away from the political machines and vote for America. Vote for the person that will stand with you, even after they are in congress or the senate.

    Cut the garbage on this party junk, and that is just what it is.

    February 17, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  4. Archie_Leach

    The Democrats should try for the number of seats they had as a result of the 1936 election when there was 16 reSCUMlican senators remaining after that election.

    But even then, and maybe it's just me, but I think 16 reSCUMlican senators is too much. ZERO reSCUMlican senators sounds about right.

    February 17, 2009 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  5. Jeff from Jersey

    Republican Californis under the Republican Governator had better hope that the democrats oust the rest of the republican regime which has been responsible for the economic crises country-wide.It is imperative that the democrats deliver the knock-out punch in 2010 if our country is to recover from republican mis-management of everything from the War in Iraq,our foreign policy,Hurricanes Katrina and Gustav,the lack of healthcare,crumbling infra-structure including schools to the economic disaster facing us today.Winning in Ohio will be another big step in the right direction.

    February 17, 2009 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  6. EZ

    The RACE is on baby!!!

    We're headed to another defining moment come 2010 and 2012. Adios GOP.

    February 17, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  7. NC

    why would Ohio voters want to elect a cheating liar like brunner................The ACORN Senator.................

    February 17, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  8. Jim in San Jose

    Just as a note to those who don't live in California. The California government, hamstrung by republican naysayers, is in the red because it has been held hostage by a 70% budget requirements and the republicans have been holding the people of California hostage for nearly six months and forced our credit rating to the lowest possible. It will be a very, very long time before we have a republican governor again.

    February 17, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  9. Willy Brown

    Great, 2 more tax cheats

    February 17, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  10. Tish

    I live in Ohio...The Bush / Cheney years did the people of Ohio no favors..and Voinovich was in lockstep with Bush at every turn. I wrote and called his office many times on issues and always got the same BS Republican line. I will gladly vote for Jennifer Brunner!!!!!

    February 17, 2009 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  11. FairWinds

    The Republicans robbed the treasury blind and gave it to their rich buddies.

    The Democrats are robbing the treasury blind and giving it to bankrupt homeowners who lied and cheated on their loan applications.

    So the difference is what exactly?

    February 17, 2009 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  12. Simmy

    We will reach 60 in the Senate.
    Cantor, start looking for a new song. What about "The Way We Were?"

    February 17, 2009 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  13. Susan in NC

    Let's make it a Democratic sweep in 2010 Ohio can lead the way!

    February 17, 2009 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  14. Kate

    Learn who Jennifer Brunner IS before for call her a "Hillary clone." Just because they both have vaginas & claim membership to the Democratic party doesn't make them the same person. Give me a break.

    And when is Tim Ryan gonna throw his hat into the ring???

    February 17, 2009 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  15. annie - Palin 2012

    The only thing jennifer Bummer has to do is 'fix' the votes like she did in the presidential campaign and she will be a shoo-in. As an Ohioian, I wouldn't vote for her for dog catcher. Even the dogs deserve better than the stinking likes of her.

    February 17, 2009 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  16. Buckeye Scott

    We are the Buckeye State Send ACORN home!Were not that nuts PRay for Boehnor and Portman in 2010.Slick Willie was nothing compared to Nobama!!! How many broken campaign promises has he made already? God Bless America and the 1st and 2nd amendments!

    February 18, 2009 04:51 am at 4:51 am |
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