February 17th, 2009
03:55 PM ET
13 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. Ula Nejad Sacramento, Ca

    Another Hillary clone? Hillary's confusion to add more to her already colorful resume over did by accepting the post of Secy of State. Give me more kind of women. Its written all over her face.

    February 17, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  2. Olivia, NH

    She sounds like a fighter, I hope she wins. Everyone in the country knows Ohio is in desperate need of change.

    February 17, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  3. Proud American

    that's what we need more democrats....we need another democrat about as much as we need another stimulpork bill....

    February 17, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  4. liz

    The Democrats had best hope Pelosi's stimulus package works–California is in the red thanks to liberal spending.

    February 17, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  5. Kevin in Ohio

    No doubt ACORN will support Brunner.

    February 17, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  6. Quiney Blevins

    Ohio, stick with Portman.

    February 17, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  7. yuri

    The Dem crowd is aroused to a new level of enthusiasm, not seen in the recent past. On the contrary, it would be interesting to watch Jindal's response to Obama's state of the union address.

    February 17, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  8. Peter

    It will be interesting to watch

    February 17, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  9. Dutch/Hampton Roads, VA

    This should be interesting. Whoever wins, I'm sure the winner will be a democrat.

    February 17, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  10. umu ule

    Jennifer is our candidate, She will go there and help clean the mess. We cannot afford any more six years of Repubs tear and dice polictics in the senate.
    we support jennifer all the way

    February 17, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  11. boered1

    Having moved from Ohio a year ago it will be an interesting race, Voinivich, no matter that he was a republican, tried to work for the betterment of Ohio, I wonder how these two will fair compared to him, I already know that Portman is not an adequate replacement and is more a party hack than a representative of the people of Ohio.

    good luck and may the best woman win! (Ok so my bias shows)

    February 17, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  12. Mike S., New Orleans

    She was really good on The West Wing.

    February 17, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  13. Rob in Detroit Mi.

    bRUNNER WILL BE THE NEXT us. SENATOR FROM ohio thank's Republicans

    February 17, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  14. Rick

    Is another demoncrate going to pad the ballot box?

    February 17, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  15. jaye

    Ohio needs good democratic leadership and I'm hoping these democrats will be able to oust the republicans in office.
    The republican party is ruining Ohio – just as they are ruining every state.

    February 17, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  16. Rick

    Is another demoncrate going to pad the ballot box?

    February 17, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  17. Rick

    Is another demoncrate going to pad the ballot box?

    February 17, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  18. Ben Dallas

    It is my hope that Ohio is a harbinger of a democratic win in the mid term elections.

    February 17, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  19. Ryan

    Rick is on here say ing the democrats are padding the ballot box. Florida Rick Florida. You see how that shook out and how we are doing now. Good thinking

    February 17, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  20. ran

    I think Portman is toast in 2010. Go Democrats. Let us see if we can get to 70+ in the senate by 2010.

    February 17, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    If the people of Illinois have any guts, they won't vote for the crook Brunner! ACORN will steal her the votes she needs, no doubt.

    February 17, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  22. JADE

    REPUBLICANS are and are proving they're dead weight. They need to be voted out. . . . Democrats are focusing on our economy and trying to find solutions to the problems created by the Republicans. GO DEMOCRATS!

    February 17, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  23. smtaber

    One thing for sure: we need more funding for education. The spelling and grammar of many people submitting comments are atrocious! In some cases, one cannot understand the point the commenter is making.

    February 17, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  24. Mike

    Just more of the same crap. Whether you are a Democrat or Republican, God help us if all we have to choose from is Portman, Brunner, and Fisher. All of these idiots allowed overspending that got Ohio into this mess. We need new fresh faces that will not go along with the political status quo. Come on OHIO, let's force both parties to give us candidates that are better than this!

    February 17, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  25. lois

    I wish the nahaters woulkd give the President a chance do do his job. maybe if they would have been that critical of the past administration, our new administration would not have all these problems. President Obama has a huge job ahead of him, I pray he can pull it off for the co
    untry as a whole.
    Could I come to your house and you read my blog? You are FINE.

    February 17, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
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