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Published: Friday, 3/12/2010

Fedor rules out plans for House seat for now

BY JIM PROVANCE
BLADE COLUMBUS BUREAU CHIEF

COLUMBUS - Now that she knows her Senate Democratic colleagues would not immediately fill the vacancy created by her expected move to the Ohio House, Sen. Teresa Fedor (D., Toledo) has decided she's not going anywhere just yet.

"I feel that it's best at least to stay in the Senate position that I'm holding," she said yesterday. "It's up in the air as to when, if at all, I'll be moving."

That means that it will be the Toledoans of the 47th House District who will be without votes on the House floor and in committees for probably two months or so after Rep. Peter Ujvagi (D., Toledo) resigns Wednesday to become the new Lucas County administrator.

It is presumed that his fellow House Democrats would pick Ms. Fedor, the only Democratic name on the November ballot in the 47th, to replace him. Ms. Fedor, who can't seek another Senate term because of term limits, said the smaller size of the House district, one third as many people as her 11th Senate District, played a role in her decision.

"It's 320,000 people," she said. "That would be a very large voice missing from this body."

Senate Democrats had been talking behind closed doors about whether they should quickly fill the vacancy or instead wait to see who emerged the victor of the May 4 primary contest between Rep. Edna Brown (D., Toledo) and Toledo City Councilman Joe McNamara.

Ms. Brown had sought the appointment, while Mr. McNamara had urged them to wait.

The 12 members of the caucus were reportedly divided on the issue.

Ms. Brown ended the debate Wednesday when she took her name out of consideration for the immediate appointment and vowed instead to earn it in the primary election.

"It's certainly a personal decision on her part," Ms. Fedor said. "She felt that was best, and I respect that position."

Once the name of her successor in the Senate is decided, that would free Ms. Fedor to accept the House appointment.

The winner of the May primary for the Senate would still have to face Republican Tom Waniewski in the fall.

Contact Jim Provance at:

jprovance@theblade.com

or 614-221-0496.



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