Plain-Dealer backs Fisher over Brunner

The Cleveland Plain-Dealer is endorsing early in the Ohio Democratic Senate primary, and it's choice is Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher.

The paper praises Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner for fighting the party establishment in the race, but says Fisher would be a superior senator. It also finds fault with some of Brunner's work in her current post:

But Brunner's preference for quick decisions and her disdain for nuance and second thoughts are also her undoing. As secretary of state, she made some good calls: Dissolving Cuyahoga County's dysfunctional elections board leaps to mind. And she made some terrible calls, including an egregious decision to reject thousands of GOP absentee ballot requests on a technicality. Although she now says the job taught her to collaborate, Brunner's style tends to be tough and top-down. She needlessly alienated some local elections officials and experts and still leaves the impression that she'd cross a busy street to argue with a Republican.

As much as Brunner's contentiousness may excite the Democratic base, it's unlikely to change the ugly tone in Washington. In the end, she and Fisher would compile very similar voting records, but Fisher's smooth, seasoned approach seems more likely to build the alliances and strike the pragmatic compromises that successful legislating requires

Fisher is a heavy favorite to win the May 4 primary, given the establishment support and the fact that Brunner has struggled to raise basically any money. She remains within striking distance in the polls, though.