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Ohio's GOP Senator, George Voinovich, to retire

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Another Republican Senator is retiring. Ohio's George Voinovich is calling it quits. This means four of the 20 Republicans who are up for reelection in 2010 aren't running. The other three are Brownback (KS), Martinez (FL) and Bond (MO).

Moving on to the good stuff, The Columbus Dispatch previews possible replacements:

Former Republican congressman Rob Portman of Cincinnati has indicated in the past that he would be interested in running for the Senate if Voinovich decided not to run. Portman, who served as U.S. trade representative and director of the Office of Management of Budget for President Bush, would be a formidable fundraiser.

Former Republican Sen. Mike DeWine, who lost his seat two years ago to Democrat Sherrod Brown, could run for governor, senator or state attorney general. If DeWine opted for attorney general, the Republicans would present a strong statewide ticket of Portman for Senate and former Republican Rep. John Kasich for governor. Republican state Auditor Mary Taylor also might be interested in the Senate seat.

A number of formidable Democrats could run for Voinovich's seat, including Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher, Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray and Rep. Tim Ryan of Youngstown, the latter reportedly a favorite of Gov. Ted Strickland.

Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner would be another possibility. But Democratic sources say party leaders would discourage her for fear of her yielding her crucial post on the state's apportionment board. That board draws new Ohio Senate and House seats.
This could be a Democratic pickup.

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