Ohio Democrats to decide fate of party chairman

JULIE CARR SMYTH Associated Press Published:

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Ohio Democrats are preparing to decide who leads the party through this fall's presidential election in a critical swing state.

Chairman Chris Redfern faces a challenger when the 66-member state central committee meets Wednesday. Lorain County Democratic Chairman Tony Giardini (jee-ahr-DEE'-nee) has the support of several labor unions and former Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner (BROO'-ner), a long-time friend, In his effort to replace Redfern.

Brunner said she's concerned Redfern's campaign to retake a seat in the Ohio House this fall will divide his attention. The Laborers' District Council of Ohio has cited the party's "devastating" 2010 defeat as shaking its confidence in Redfern.

Redfern backers point to labor's resounding victory in turning back Gov. John Kasich's (KAY'-sihks) collective bargaining law last year. Among his supporters is U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown.

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