Gardner quits quest to be next Ohio Senate leader

Toledo Blade
December 19, 2003

By JAMES DREW
BLADE COLUMBUS BUREAU CHIEF

COLUMBUS - Randy Gardner yesterday dropped out of the race to become the next president of the Ohio Senate, paving the way for old rival Jeff Jacobson to become the chamber’s most powerful member.

"I would rather be president, but there are some factors that make it more difficult to do that at this time," Mr. Gardner said. As president pro tem, the Bowling Green Republican is expected to remain the No. 2 state senator in the 2005-2006 session.

Mr. Jacobson, a Vandalia Republican who now holds the No. 4 slot as majority whip, is expected to be elected Senate president in November or December, 2004. The current president, Doug White (R., Manchester) cannot seek re-election because of term limits.

"This is a win for the caucus and for Ohio in that we are going to take our best efforts from both of us into a future team," Mr. Jacobson said.

Mr. Gardner said the deciding factor for him dropping out of the Senate president race was the time he wants to spend with his wife, Sandy, and their three children.

"If there was a fund-raiser tonight halfway across the state, [Mr. Jacobson] would probably still go and I won’t," said Mr. Gardner, before rushing out of his Statehouse office to see his two sons in basketball games in Wood County.

Mr. Jacobson and his wife, Susan Williams, have a 3-year-old son.

The GOP controls the Senate, 22-11, and is expected to retain its control of the chamber in next year’s elections.

Click here to read the story in the Toledo Blade.

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