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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

OH Sen: Zurz (D) May Take Job in Strickland Administration UPDATED

State Sen. Kimberly Zurz (D-Green), who lost out to State Sen. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) in the contest for Ohio Senate Minority Leader, admitted to the Columbus Dispatch that she is being considered for a position in the administration of Gov. Ted Strickland (D-Lisbon). No word on what position or when an announcement might be made, and Sen. Fedor said that she has not begun to discuss who might replace Zurz.

Zurz was appointed to the Ohio Senate in September 2003. She is the president of a funeral home in Akron and graduated from the University of Akron. She is eligible to run for another term if she stays in the senate.

The Democratic contingent in the Ohio Senate already includes two young, relatively inexperienced appointees (Capri Cafaro and Jason Wilson). However, those two are regarded as having political strengths that will help them win election to their seats. Another appointment may mean another fresh young face, or it may mean a veteran gets moved up. The 28th Ohio Senate District includes much of Akron and southern Summit County and all of Portage County. Any thoughts on who might be chosen?

All three State Representatives in the 28th Ohio Senate District are Democrats: newcomer Stephen Dyer (D-Green) and veterans Bob Otterman (D-Akron) Vernon Sykes (D-Akron) and Kathleen Chandler (D-Kent). Otterman is term-limited in 2008.

CORRECTION: Paul points out in a comment that it is Rep. Sykes, not Rep. Otterman, whose district is in the 28th Ohio Senate District. This brings up another name -- former Rep. Barbara Sykes (D-Akron), who occupied her husband's seat for a time and lost a close race for state auditor in November. I'm aware that she is set to take the reins as president of the Ohio United Way, but could she be persuaded to resume her public service as an Ohio Senator, replacing Zurz?

UPDATED: Zurz will be Strickland's Director of the Ohio Department of Commerce. (h/t Jerid at BSB.)

UPDATED AGAIN! Here is coverage from the Akron Beacon Journal. They mention Reps. Sykes, Dyer, and Chandler as being on the short list for appointment to the seat.

I'm hearing that this Senate seat has a history of going back and forth between Summit and Portage county. Leigh Herington (D), who preceded Zurz, was from Portage county, so now the focus shifts back there. Chandler is certainly a possibility, but Portage County Commissioner Chuck Keiper (D) is a good prospect. He won re-election convincingly and he's done well as a commissioner.

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At January 23, 2007 12:42 PM , Paul said...

I show this as having Vernon Sykes in SS28. Otterman is in the 27th state senate district.


At January 23, 2007 1:46 PM , Paul said...

An interesting question, but didn't I read somewhere that Barbara Sykes was going to make quite a bit more money than the $58-59K that a State Senate seat would pay?


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