While the rest of the country is focused on the presidential race in 2008, Senator Voinovich is already working toward his “aggressive fundraising goals” for his 2010 reelection campaign.

Are there really any Democrats out there that can beat him? Chandra? Fisher? Space? Ryan?

I’m not so sure.

2006 was a special year for the Democrats; Most people didn’t really hate DeWine, they were just fed up with the Republicans.

Things will be different by 2010- and we’ll need a REALLY good candidate (no offense Senator Brown) or a really big scandal to defeat Voinovich…

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Voinovich already raising big bucks for 2010 race

Despite his publicly announced plans to run again, some political observers have remained skeptical that Sen. George V. Voinovich, who turns 71 in July, will seek a third term in 2010.

Perhaps an early whirlwind of big-bucks fundraising will put those doubts to rest.

Voinovich flew to Los Angeles last week to raise money from Jewish supporters at the posh kosher steakhouse The Prime Grill in Beverly Hills. Campaign officials declined to put a price tag on the fundraiser, but it?s unlikely the Ohio Republican would go all the way to California for an event that didn?t generate significant donations ? although he did spend time with actor and Cleveland native Drew Carey, too.

Voinovich also has already sent out the invites for his first big Washington fundraiser for a campaign that ? remember ? remains three years away. The Dispatch obtained a copy of the invitation for the March 22 event at the similarly posh (but not kosher) Charlie Palmer Steak restaurant near Capitol Hill.

The event is hosted by a bevy of energy-industry lobbyists and executives, including American Electric Power lobbyist Tony Kavanagh. Voinovich is on the Senate?s environment committee and could wield his significant parliamentary power even in the minority to gum up the works of clean-air legislation the industry considers overly burdensome.

In addition to Voinovich, the invitation notes that two “special guests” will be present: Sens. James M. Inhofe, R-Okla., and Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., also environment committee members.

The price tag for attending: $1,000 per person for just the reception and $2,500 per person to attend the dinner.

Voinovich campaign officials declined to speak for attribution. One official, on condition of anonymity, said that Voinovich had put his own fundraising on hold during the 2006 election cycle but now, “in preparation for his 2010 re-election campaign ? has set aggressive fundraising goals and is actively fulfilling them.”

 

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