Politics nixed in sec. of state race

Aman Ali

Amid the mudslinging toward each other in the race for Ohio Secretary of State, Jennifer Brunner and Greg Hartmann are taking shots at a common target • Ken Blackwell.

Blackwell, the current Secretary of State and Republican candidate for Ohio governor, took heat in 2004 for campaigning for President George W. Bush while overseeing elections in Ohio.

Brunner, a Democrat from Columbus, promises to be a campaign-free secretary of state.

“I was a judge in common pleas court,” Brunner said. “I’m going to carry over that same conduct as Secretary of State. I want to be fair and neutral in the election process.”

Hartmann, a Cincinnati Republican trying to distance himself from Blackwell as of late, said the same.

“I’m taking partisanship out of the job as secretary,” Hartmann said. “It’s not the right thing to do. I’m not taking any money from any party.”

A key issue where the candidates differ is Ohio’s new voter ID law, which requires all voters to show identification when casting a ballot.

Hartmann supports the law, calling it helps “make sure people are confident that their vote counts. Brunner calls the law “excessive” and a “tool by the Republican party to disenfranchise voters.”

The race also includes independent candidates Timothy J. Kettler and John A. Eastman. Both candidates could not be reached for comment.

Contact public affairs reporter Aman Ali at [email protected].


Name: Jennifer Brunner

Party: Democrat

Age: 48

Residence: Columbus

Political experience: Franklin County Common Pleas Judge, 2000-2005

Name: Timothy J. Kettler

Party: Independent

Age: 56

Residence: Warsaw

Political experience: None

Name: Greg Hartmann

Party: Republican

Age: 39

Residence: Cincinnati

Political experience: Hamilton County Clerk of Courts 2003-06; Hamilton County Assistant Prosecutor 1999-2002

Name: John A. Eastman

Party: Independent

Age: 59

Residence: Centerville

Political experience: None