Ohio State Sen. Jon Husted has filed a lawsuit before the Ohio Supreme Court after Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner ruled that he doesn’t live in Kettering where’s he registered to vote and can’t vote from that address. Brunner, a Democrat, used evidence that included water use to conclude that Husted, a Republican, didn’t live at his Kettering home but instead resided with his wife in Upper Arlington.
Husted is hoping to run for the position of Ohio Secretary of State, and as the lead adjudicator and executor of state election laws, it’s not inspiring to start getting slippery on the definition of residence. Can you play a political angle on this? Maybe. Husted is going after Brunner’s position, who is leaving the post to run for Ohio’s U.S. Senate. But the reality is the facts aren’t looking that great in Husted’s favor right now, and while there may be some undeniable partisan glee at the smackdown, engaging in an arcane argument over residency requirements really shouldn’t be the path to a moral high ground. (Though I do wonder why it took the Ohio Supreme Court to nudge Brunner into action if it was really so obvious that Husted didn’t live there.)
Democratic and liberal-minded Buckeye blogs are crowing about the ruling, but when you have right-leaning blogs like Weapons of Mass Discussion refusing to jump to your defense, you know you have a problem. Hell, he’s my state Senator, and still I can’t muster the energy to come this guy’s defense in the face of material worthy of some serious head-shaking. Right Ohio brings up some valid examples of Democratic residency issues, but the larger point is this – someone running for the kind of office Husted is seeking needs to be more compliant on state election issues.
The Ohio GOP has endorsed Husted for the position of Secretary of State. I’m thinking they need to withdraw that endorsement pronto and show they won’t put up with these kind of shenanigans from one of their own. We’ll see what happens with the court case, but don’t expect much sympathy or cheerleading from me. This is one Miami Valley voter who’s at best indifferent to the ultimate outcome to Husted’s political fortunes.