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Published: Tuesday, 2/24/2009

Ohio lawmaker wants special election for U.S. Senate vacancies


COLUMBUS, Ohio An influential state lawmaker wants to see Ohio's governor stripped of his power to fill vacant U.S. Senate seats.

State Senator Jon Husted of suburban Dayton says he is drafting legislation that will require such vacancies to be filled by special election.

He said Tuesday the move is prompted by the case of Illinois Sen. Roland Burris, who is under fire over accusations that he lied about circumstances surrounding his appointment by impeached Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Husted's proposal comes at a time when Ohio's veteran senior senator, Republican George Voinovich, has announced he will not run for re-election in 2010. Should he leave early, Ohio law allows Gov. Ted Strickland to fill the coveted seat.

A message seeking comment was left with Strickland's office.

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