Ohio GOP Senate Field Cleared for Portman

Posted May 15, 2009 at 11:24am

Republicans have staved off what could have been an expensive primary fight in Ohio, where state Auditor Mary Taylor has reportedly decided not to run for Senate in 2010.According to a report in the Columbus Dispatch, Taylor told the Ohio Republican Party’s central committee Wednesday night that she plans to run for re-election. Former Rep. Rob Portman (R), who has collected more than $3 million for his campaign so far, has the backing of both Buckeye and national Republicans. If Taylor had run against Portman, Republicans would not only have faced a contentious primary, but they would have also lost their only statewide incumbent up for re-election in 2010.While Republicans may have avoided a primary, Democrats are still facing a contested nomination fight in the race for retiring Sen. George Voinovich’s (R) seat. Despite some grumbling from fellow Democrats, Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner maintains she is staying in the race with Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher. The Dispatch also reported that Brunner e-mailed activists across the Buckeye State this week to tell them that “under no circumstances— will she seek re-election or run for any other office besides Senate.Brunner raised eyebrows last month when she reported raising only $207,000 so far for her Senate bid. Fisher collected more than $1 million in the first quarter of the year. EMILY’s List has not yet endorsed Brunner, but the group’s backing would no doubt boost her fundraising.