Columnist takes leave during husband's Senate campaign

CLEVELAND - Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Connie Schultz has taken a leave of absence from The Plain Dealer while her husband, Sherrod Brown, campaigns for a U.S. Senate seat.

Schultz, who last year won the newspaper's first Pulitzer Prize in more than 50 years, announced her decision Wednesday on the paper's Web site in a column titled, "It's time to do what feels right."

She wrote that she is becoming more limited in her choice of column topics because she could be accused of campaigning for her husband of two years, currently a Democratic congressman. She also said her presence at the newspaper could create difficulties for her colleagues covering the Senate race.

"I hate to see a signature writer go from the pages of the paper, but I think it was the right decision from a journalistic perspective and it was a decision Connie came to on her own," said editor Doug Clifton.

The Plain Dealer,

Ohio's largest newspaper, is owned by Advance Publications Inc. and has a circulation of about 365,000.

Schultz, who won the Pulitzer for commentary, will return to her twice-weekly column after the November election.

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