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Ohio Senate Race Takes Shape

Ohio Sec. of State Jennifer Brunner formally entered the 2010 Senate race today by announcing her candidacy in a video released this afternoon.

"I'm running for the United States Senate to be a part of the solution, to meet our challenges and to help Ohio emerge stronger than ever," Brunner says in her announcement video.

Joining Brunner in the Democratic primary contest will be Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher, who is set to announce his candidacy at a news conference this evening in Columbus. Gov. Ted Strickland (D) said publicly two weeks ago that Fisher was the "best qualified" candidate among the Democrats considering a bid.

The winner of the Brunner-Fisher primary will likely face former Congressman and U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman (R) in the general election. Portman announced his candidacy a month ago.

All three candidates are vying for the seat that Sen. George Voinovich (R) is vacating at the end of his term. Voinovich was first elected to the Senate in 1998, and also served two terms as Ohio governor from 1990-1998.

Democrats view this race as an excellent opportunity to pick up a Republican Senate seat. The party is coming off two impressive election seasons, with Obama taking Ohio by a 4-point margin in November, and Strickland and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) both taking over for a Republican in 2006.

Here is Brunner's announcement video: