As many of you recall, the second Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner and Lt. Governor Lee Fisher announced that they were running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring Republican Senator George Voinovich, the blogsphere began a very public campaign to get the candidates and ODP to not endorse in this race and leave it to the Democratic primary voters to decide.
Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner very quickly took our pledge, and ODP Chairman Chris Redfern declared that he’d keep ODP as neutral as he could.? All of us, myself included, was skeptical and suspicious of Redfern’s claim of ODP neutrality.? Lt. Governor Lee Fisher very publicly declined to take our pledge for ODP neutrality.
Well, Tim and I both noticed recently that the usual time for the ODP to issue endorsements in contested statewide primaries had come and went, so I called ODP’s Communication shop who confirmed that there are still no plans for ODP to endorse in the Senate primary.? In fact, there is no Executive Committee meeting (which occurs roughly only four times year) on the calendar that would be a necessary precursor for such an endorsement for a particular candidate.
Thank you, Chairman Redfern for listening to the grassroots Democrats who have said they’d like primary voters, and not political bosses choose our next Senate candidate!
[UPDATE:]? I need to clarify something in my post.? Technically, the officers at ODP’s Columbus office do not make the decision as to whether or not there will be any endorsement by the Ohio Democratic Party.? That decision, under ODP’s Bylaws, is left to a supermajority of the party’s State Executive Committee.? However, there is no scheduled meeting of the State Executive Committee presently scheduled, let alone one where any endorsement for a particular candidate would be on the agenda.? So in my rush to simplify the situation, I may have given a mistaken impression on who has the ability to say, on behalf of the State Party, whether the State Party will endorse in a race or not.? The implication of the actual facts still lead to the same conclusion, however.?
Given that such endorsements are typically done before the filing deadline just a month and half away and there’s no scheduled meeting of the Executive Committee with any endorsements on the agenda, then the clear inference is that there are no plans for ODP, presently, to endorse.? While it’s possible that could change, the current facts coupled with history of prior ODP endorsements strongly suggest that there will be no endorsement.? Chairman Redfern is still committed to neutrality to the race.