The Importance of Jennifer Brunner
Jennifer Brunner, Ohio's Secretary of State, is quickly becoming the nation's most prominent election administrator. Brunner's legal battle with the Ohio Republican Party -- in ...
Jennifer Brunner, Ohio's Secretary of State, is quickly becoming the nation's most prominent election administrator. Brunner's legal battle with the Ohio Republican Party -- in which the U.S. Supreme Court sided with her today -- is making national news.
Obviously, the main reason that Republicans are criticizing Brunner (a Democrat) and Democrats are defending her is that both sides want to win Ohio's 20 electoral votes. But, there's another subtext here too: control of state legislative redistricting in 2011.
Ohio has a hybrid redistricting process. The legislature gets to draw congressional lines, but state legislators don't get to change state legislative lines. Instead, that task is left to the five-member Ohio Reapportionment Board.
Who are the members? It includes one representative selected by each of the two major parties in the legislature -- so, one Democrat and one Republican. It includes the governor, who is currently Ted Strickland, a popular Democrat. A lot can happen in two years, but, for now, Strickland seems likely to win reelection. The fourth member is the state auditor, currently Mary Taylor, the only Republican to win statewide in 2006. She'll probably be a favorite in 2010 too. And, finally, it includes the secretary of state
In other words, the Reapportionment Board will probably have two Democrats, two Republicans and whoever occupies the secretary of state's office. Brunner's reelection bid is crucial. She seems likely, if the scuttlebutt is to be believed, to face Jon Husted, the outgoing speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives.
So, Republicans have an extra incentive to portray Brunner as someone who is manipulating the electoral process for partisan ends. Democrats have an extra incentive to depict her as fighting the good fight against dirty tricks designed to disenfranchise voters. That public relations battle could determine who controls Ohio's state legislature for the next decade.
Join the Discussion
After you comment, click Post. You can enter an anonymous Display Name or connect to a social profile.
States With the Strongest Job Growth in 20162 hours ago
After Collapsing During Speech, Minnesota Governor Reveals Cancer Diagnosis31 minutes ago
State of Emergency Declared for Counties Up and Down California1 hour ago
Philadelphia Takes Unprecedented Action to Bridge the Gender Pay Gap3 hours ago
GOP Senators Unveil Replacement Plan That Would Let States Keep Obamacare3 hours ago
To Reshape EPA, Trump Taps 2 Washington State Legislators3 hours ago