Ohio: Reality Show Veteran Picks Up Party Label

Posted January 13, 2010 at 5:58pm

Ohio marketing executive Surya Yalamanchili has changed his mind about party labels; he is ending his two-month stint as an Independent candidate in the Cincinnati-based 2nd district and will instead seek the Democratic nomination.

“I entered this race as an Independent because of my deep frustration with the current state of our political system and its inability to address our serious national challenges,— Yalamanchili said in a statement. “As I’ve made my way across the 2nd district, it has become clear to me that I can do the most good from within the Democratic Party.—

Yalamanchili, who once appeared on the reality television program “The Apprentice,— is the third Democrat to challenge Rep. Jean Schmidt (R). David Krikorian, who was an Independent candidate in the 2008 election, and Jim Parker also are running. Other Democrats could enter the race before the Feb. 18 filing deadline.

Schmidt, who is seeking a fourth full term, faces opposition in the GOP primary from Mike Kilburn, a commissioner in Warren County, and Bryan Hawkins, a city councilman in Milford.

Fisher Raises $780,000 More for Senate Bid

Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher (D) raised more than $780,000 for his Senate campaign in the final three months of 2009, solidifying his position as the best-funded Democrat in the race to succeed retiring Sen. George Voinovich (R).

Fisher’s campaign said its fourth-quarter take brought the campaign’s total receipts to $3.25 million. Fisher and other Senate candidates must file detailed campaign finance reports by Jan. 31.

Fisher is competing in the Democratic primary with Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, who has struggled to raise money. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee seems to prefer Fisher; it has spent some limited “coordinated expenditures— to boost his campaign.

Former Rep. Rob Portman and car dealer Tom Ganley are seeking the Republican nomination. Portman is the best-funded candidate in either party.