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Marilyn Brown withdraws from Secretary of State race

October 5, 2009

COLUMBUS - Franklin County Commissioner Marilyn Brown (D) said she believes that focusing on government at the local level is what she does best, according to a press release.

Brown said in a statement that during her recent campaign travels, a majority of the feedback she received from voters centered around local issues. After listening to voters' concerns regarding local government, "It became apparent that I am most passionate about working on these local and county issues," she said.

Brown added that after deliberative discussion and consideration she has decided to continue serving as Franklin County Commissioner and seek re-election to that office in 2010.

"I am therefore officially withdrawing as candidate for Secretary of State," she said.

When Brown first announced her candidacy for the secretary of state position, she hoped to "build on the reforms and improvements started by Secretary of State (Jennifer) Brunner, (as well as) focus on strengthening the relationship between the Secretary of State's office and our 88 county boards of elections," according to a previous statement listed on the Franklin County Democratic party Web site.

Current Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner (D) has spent a majority of her time in office on efforts to improve electronic voting, with an emphasis on touch-screen voting systems. Brunner has been the forerunner of Project EVEREST (Evaluation & Validation of Election-Related Equipment, Standards & Testing) in Ohio. The study maintained that touch-screen ES&S voting systems were flawed-by means of error and/or fraud-and that other methods should be applied.

Remaining candidates for the secretary of state position are Democrat Majority Floor Leader for the Ohio House of Representatives Jennifer Garrison of Marietta (93rd District), Republican Ohio Senator Jon Husted (6th District) of Kettering, and Republican Sandra O'Brien, former Ashtabula County auditor.

Garrison said she wishes Brown the best of luck, and noted that many people respected Brown during her campaign. "I know she will continue to be a leader in Franklin County, the Democratic Party, and our state," she said.

Garrison added that she will continue to travel the state to unite the party behind her candidacy and that she pledges to administer fair, open and honest elections; foster an environment where jobs are created; and run an ethical and transparent office.

Garrison has served in the Ohio House of Representatives for three terms, has worked in the Congressional Budget Office, the Ohio Department of Transportation, and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Husted recently made state-wide news after Brunner ruled that Husted was not a resident of the area in which he is registered to vote.

Husted could not be reached for comment, however according to the Columbus Dispatch, Husted will be appealing Brunner's ruling. Husted has previously served as Speaker of the House, and is currently serving as the Directer of Workforce Education and Employer Services through the Dayton area Chamber of Commerce.

Sandra O'Brien stated on her personal web site that, "The eighty-eight County Board of Elections and their employees are an asset, not an obstruction. County Board of Elections should be listened to, not dictated to. They are government's link to the voter and should be treated with respect."

Other issues O'Brien is addressing in her campaign is regaining trust in the elections office, and voting technology. "If you are one of those looking for the perfect voting system, you are not going to find it. It doesn't exist," she has said.

Brunner will not be running for re-election as secretary of state, instead focusing her attention to the Ohio Senate. Brunner reportedly hopes to fill the vacancy left by Sen. George Voinovich (R) after his retirement.



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