OHIO'S 11th Senate District includes most of the city of Toledo and several of its eastern suburbs. In this year's election, voters will choose between state Rep. Edna Brown, a Democrat, and Toledo City Council member Tom Waniewski, a Republican. The Blade recommends the election of EDNA BROWN.
Term limits have created an open seat in the 11th District, formerly represented by Democrat Teresa Fedor, who is running this year for the state House. Ms. Brown is wrapping up her fourth term as state representative in the 48th House District; she was appointed in 2002 and elected to the seat three times. Before that, she served six years on Toledo City Council.
Rep. Brown was a prime mover behind passage of the state law that allows Ohioans to vote early without having to state a reason. This year, she was chief sponsor of an important new law that allow juveniles to get civil-protection orders against stalkers.
During her time in Columbus, Rep. Brown has usefully specialized in such areas as human services, public health, and labor issues. This experience is especially important to her economically challenged district. She expresses interest in helping to protect the region's waterways from toxic algae blooms and Asian carp.
In the May primary in the 11th District, Ms. Brown defeated Toledo City Council member Joe McNamara, another popular Democrat. Mr. Waniewski, her general-election opponent, is equally well known.
Although the district is heavily Democratic, Mr. Waniewski credibly argues that his independent streak - which he has repeatedly demonstrated on the council - will appeal to voters of both parties, as well as ticket-splitters. He says he is running his campaign independently of the Lucas County GOP.
Both candidates have much to recommend them. But on the strength of her broader legislative experience, EDNA BROWN merits election in the 11th Senate District.