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Kearney Elected to Lead Senate Democrats


Eric KearneyCOLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Democrats in the Ohio Senate have elected a Cincinnati lawyer with close ties to President Barack Obama to head a new slate of caucus leaders in the presidential election year.

State Sen. Eric Kearney replaces state Sen. Capri Cafaro, of Hubbard, who led minority Democrats since January 2009. Cafaro said she wants to focus her energies in her district.

Kearney aide Damien Hardy said the full Senate must act on the transition. That vote is expected next week.

Joining Kearney on the new leadership team are state Sens. Joe Schiavoni of Youngstown, Nina Turner of Cleveland and Edna Brown of Toledo.

Kearney served on the national finance committee of Obama's 2008 campaign and as a state co-chair. His wife, Jan-Michele, was a Harvard law school classmate of the president's.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)