Eric Fingerhut was elected to the Ohio Senate in 1990. He won a nine-way primary election for the U.S. House in 1992 with 24 percent of the vote, beating Cuyahoga County Auditor Tim McCormack, who got 19 percent, and Democrat Dennis Kucinich, who got 18 percent.
Fingerhut was elected to the U.S. House in 1992, beating Lake County Commissioner Robert Gardner 53 percent to 47 percent. Fingerhut lost re-election in 1994 to Republican Steve LaTourette, who beat him 48 percent to 43 percent.
He was elected to the Ohio Senate in 1998 and re-elected in 2002. He earned 71 percent of the vote to win the March 2, 2004, primary for the U.S. Senate.