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Top Stories This Week in the Chronicle.
September 9, 2005

Stonewall Democrat runs for Ohio secretary of state

Cleveland--�You can�t referee the game while you�re wearing the jersey of one of the teams,� said Democrat Jennifer Brunner, announcing her candidacy to become Ohio�s next election chief.

Brunner assailed current Secretary of State Ken Blackwell for giving Issue 1 proponents every possible advantage to get the marriage ban on the ballot last year, then campaigning for its passage, and for giving George W. Bush advantage in the presidential race while serving as his campaign co-chair.

Nine hours after resigning from the Franklin County Common Pleas Court bench, Brunner launched her campaign at the Laborers Local 310 hall September 1 in Cleveland, the first stop of a 12city tour over five days.

Brunner is a member of the Stonewall Democrats of Central Ohio and has chosen its former president Jason Lansdale, who now lives in Cleveland, to be the campaign�s liaison to the LGBT community.

Lansdale says that the events during the last election suddenly make administrative offices like the secretary of state important to the LGBT community.

Brunner served on the Franklin County bench for four years. Prior to that, she practiced election law, representing Democratic candidates and labor interests, and served as counsel to U.S. Representative Sherrod Brown during his tenure as Ohio Secretary of State.

Brunner and her husband Rick have an openly lesbian daughter, Laura, who lives in Boston with her partner. The couple have been active advocates of LGBT equality, and marched with the Stonewall Democrats in this year�s Cleveland and Columbus Pride parades.

Brunner was joined at her Cleveland announcement by Lansdale and 30 labor leaders, voting rights advocates, and Democratic Party officials including retired Cleveland Municipal Judge C. Ellen Conally, State Rep. Dale Miller, former Cuyahoga County Commissioner Mary Boyle, Cuyahoga County Juvenile Judge Peter Sikora, and Claridon Township Trustee Mary Briggs.

Ohio will elect a new Secretary of State in 2006. Brunner is currently the only announced candidate. Blackwell is seeking the Republican nomination for governor.

 

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