As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Monday, January 12, 2009

OH-Sen: Voinovich Becomes Third Republican To Retire

Do you think the GOP is priming for a big comeback in 2010? Well, so far, Mel Martinez has decided to retire from his Senate seat in Florida, Kit Bond has decided to retire from his Senate seat in Missouri, and now George Voinovich has decided to retire from his Senate seat in Ohio. I get the feeling that they're less than confident.

Sen. George V. Voinovich announced this morning that he won't seek re-election next year and will retire from politics when his term expires at the end of 2010. And the words were barely out of his lips this morning when the line starting forming to succeed him.

The Ohio Republican told his Washington staff this morning of his decision to retire during a conference call from his vacation home in Florida. Voinovich planned to fly back to Washington today where he is scheduled to hold a news conference in the late afternoon.

In a statement, Voinovich said that after "prayerful consideration and much thought," he and his wife Janet decided he would not run again. Voinovich said "this has not been an easy decision for us. I still have the fire in my belly to do the work of our nation, but after serving the next two years, it will be time to step back and spend the rest of our time with our children and grandchildren, siblings and extended family and friends."

Three swing states, three Republican retirements.

This seats up a real battle. Rob Portman, who was Bush's US trade representative and a former Congressman, and who was shortlisted for McCain's Vice-Presidential pick, is sure to run, and I'd guess he'll be the nominee. Former Senator Mike DeWine may also run. On the Democratic side, there's a formidable bench, including Lt. Governor Lee Fisher, Attorney General Richard Cordray, Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, and thirtysomething Congressman Tim Ryan from Youngstown, who would absolutely be my choice for the seat. The guy is a dynamo. Bob Brigham has more.

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