Ohio Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher, armed with a hefty war chest and the endorsement of Gov. Ted Strickland, easily won the Democratic nomination for an open Senate seat, defeating Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner. He will face Republican Rob Portman, a former congressman and Bush administration official, in November for the seat being vacated by two-term GOP Sen. George Voinovich.
Fisher's margin over Brunner, as forecast by polls, was substantial.
Democratic national Chair Tim Kaine was buoyed by the result, saying that Fisher "has focused on the priorities on the minds of Ohioans and of Americans – creating well-paying jobs, preventing a return to failed Bush Administration policies that led to an economic crisis, and offering hard-working Americans a fair chance of achieving the American Dream." Kaine also offered up this contrast with the GOP nominee, saying Portman:
... was a central figure on President Bush's economic team that pursued policies that proved disastrous for Ohio’s working families and sank our economy into a recession. If elected to the Senate, he would pursue those policies once again. Rob Portman’s tenure serving the specials interests in Washington was part of a lost decade for the American people and Ohioans that saw Bush Administration economic policies resulting in tax cuts for the wealthiest two percent of Americans and abusive Wall Street practices that led to the worst economic crisis in America since the Great Depression.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), who heads up the National Republican Senatorial Committee, saw the contrast differently:
Lee Fisher represents more of the same from the Washington Democrats’ tax-and-spend agenda – lost jobs, higher taxes, and bigger government. He has made it clear that he plans to rubberstamp President Barack Obama’s deeply unpopular agenda if he’s elected this November – an agenda that 53 percent of Ohioans have soundly rejected.
In contrast, Rob Portman has a proven record of accomplishment on behalf of Ohio and America. He will fight for lower taxes and small government, and he will stand up against President Obama and the Washington Democrats’ out-of-control economic agenda.
There was no competition in the battle for the governorship. Incumbent Democrat Ted Strickland, seeking a second term, will face former Rep. John Kasich in November.