George Voinovich

From Academic Kids

George Voinovich

George Victor Voinovich (born July 15, 1936) is an American politician from Ohio.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, to a Serbian father and Slovenian mother, Voinovich earned a B.A. in government from Ohio University in 1958 and a J.D. from the Ohio State University College of Law in 1961.

In 1963, Voinovich served as an assistant attorney general of Ohio. He served as an Ohio state representative from 1967 to 1971. from 1971 to 1976, he served as county auditor of Cuyahoga County, Ohio. From 1977 to 1978, he served as a member of the Cuyahoga County Board of Commissioners. In 1978, Voinovich was elected lieutenant governor on the gubernatorial ticket with James A. Rhodes (the first Ohio lieutenant governor not to be elected separately from the governor) and he served as lieutenant governor of Ohio in 1979. While still serving in his first year as lieutenant governor, Voinovich ran for mayor of Cleveland, Ohio, and unseated the incumbent, Dennis Kucinich. He served as mayor from 1979 to 1986.

A member of the Republican Party, his most important political positions include 10 years as mayor of Cleveland, from 1979 to 1989 (he succeeded Dennis Kucinich), eight years as Governor of Ohio (1991-1998; elected in 1990 and reelected in 1994) and his current (as of 2004) position, United States Senator from Ohio. He was elected senator in 1998, succeeding John Glenn, a four-term Democratic senator who retired and did not run in that election.

In 1988, Voinovich ran to unseat then U.S. Senator Howard Metzenbaum. During his campaign, Voinovich charged that Metzenbaum was soft on child pornographers. Voinovich was roundly criticized for this attack and lost to Metzenbaum in a landslide. Two years later, in 1990, Voinovich was nominated by the Republicans to replace Gov. Richard F. Celeste, a Democrat who was barred from running for a third consecutive term. In that race, Voinovich defeated Anthony J. Celebrezze Jr. In 1994, Voinovich was re-elected to the governorship, defeating Democrat Robert L. Burch Jr. in a massive landslide. He won 72% of the vote.

In 1996, Voinovich hoped to be chosen by then U.S. Sen. Robert J. Dole to be the Republican nominee for U.S. vice president. However, Dole chose Jack Kemp instead. In 1998, barred from running for a third consecutive term as governor, Voinovich set his eyes on the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by long-time incumbent Democrat John Glenn. Voinovich won that race, defeating Democrat Mary O. Boyle.

In 2002, Voinovich became the target of the right wing when he was one of the moderate Republicans in the Senate trying to put the brakes on President Bush's plan to cut taxes while increasing expenditures. A television campaign labeled Voinovich as disloyal.

In November 2004, in his bid for re-election to the U.S. Senate, Voinovich easily defeated the Democratic nominee, U.S. representative and current Ohio state senator Eric Fingerhut.

Voinovich gained attention at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's confirmation hearing of John R. Bolton, nominee for U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, when he commented "I don't feel comfortable voting today on Mr. John Bolton." As a result, the committee recessed without a vote and thus stalled the nomination [1] ( Again, Voinovich faced charges of disloyalty from conservative activists.

Voinovich has a reputation of being overcome by emotion in public situations and has choked up on several occasions during important speeches, the latest example being during his May 25, 2005, address in the Senate pleading with fellow Republicans to reject Bolton's nomination. Voinovich lost his composure as he explained that he ran for re-election in order to try to secure a stable future for his children and grand-children. Voinovich also got choked up when the Cleveland Browns announced their intent to move to Baltimore. In 1999, Voinovich said that President Clinton's signing of the "Ed-Flex" bill had brought tears of joy to his eyes.

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Preceded by:
Richard F. Celeste
Lieutenant Governor of Ohio
Succeeded by:
Myrl Shoemaker
Preceded by:
Dennis Kucinich
Mayor of Cleveland
Succeeded by:
Mike White
Preceded by:
Richard F. Celeste
Governor of Ohio
Succeeded by:
Nancy P. Hollister
Preceded by:
John Glenn
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from Ohio
Succeeded by:

Template:End box Template:OH-FedRep Template:Current U.S Senators


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