But so does the Midwest, which has been bleeding jobs of late and struggling to gain a firm economic footing in today's global economy.DeWine, defeated last month by U.S. Rep. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat from the Cleveland area, ought to keep his bags packed and get out of the Senate immediately. There is nothing he can accomplish by spinning his wheels with the rest of the Election Day leftovers. Quitting would help his state.
By resigning and stepping aside gracefully, the Republican would open a path for Brown to take office early and gain some precious seniority in the Senate, a legislative body where the pecking order is determined by who has been around the longest. A Senate shuffle in Ohio would jump-start Brown's new career in Washington, where he is expected to become a strong voice questioning U.S. trade policies that have flooded the nation with cheap goods while sending money and jobs overseas. It would also give Brown a chance to ask fresh questions about the War in Iraq.
Ohio law allows Gov. Bob Taft, another lame duck Republican, to appoint a U.S. senator if the office becomes vacant. He would not have to pick Brown, but there is no doubt here that he would. It would be a classy final act by Taft and DeWine to put the Democrat in office a month or so early, and demonstrate that they really do care about Ohio's clout in the U.S. Capitol. DeWine doesn't need his Senate salary -- he's a millionaire.
UPDATE: The Cleveland Plain Dealer's Openers blog is reporting now that Sen. DeWine says he is not interested in becoming John Bolton's replacement at the United Nations. According to the report, he told Steve Koff, the newspaper's Washington bureau chief, that there is no place like home and that he wants to get back to Ohio. He could do it quicker if he quit and let Sen.-elect Sherrod Brown take his place in Washington.
Here's what Ohio law has to say about filling a Senate vacancy:
3521.02. Vacancy in United States Senate.
When a vacancy occurs in the representation of this state in the senate of the United States by death, resignation, or otherwise, the vacancy shall be filled forthwith by appointment by the governor who may appoint some suitable person having the necessary qualifications for senator. The appointee shall hold office until the fifteenth day of December succeeding the next regular state election that occurs more than one hundred eighty days after the vacancy happens. At that next regular state election, a special election to fill the vacancy shall be held, provided, that when the unexpired term ends within one year immediately following the date of such regular state election, an election to fill the unexpired term shall not be held, and the appointment shall be for the unexpired term. The special election shall be governed in all respects by the laws controlling regular state elections for such office. Candidates to be voted for at the special election shall be nominated in the same manner as is provided for the nomination of candidates at regular state elections.
At least one hundred eighty days prior to the date of such regular state election, the governor shall issue a writ directing that a special election be held to fill such vacancy as provided in this section. The writ shall be directed to the secretary of state and a copy of the writ sent by mail to the board of elections of each county in the state which shall give notice of the time and place of holding such special election in the same manner and at the same time provided in section 3501.03 of the Revised Code for giving similar notice for regular elections.
HISTORY: GC § 4828-3; 104 v 8; Bureau of Code Revision, 10-1-53; 135 v H 1037 (Eff 2-6-74); 146 v H 99. Eff 8-22-95.