National Democrats are rallying around former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland (D) in the state’s Democratic primary to determine who will face Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) in 2016, seeking to marginalize Democratic Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld.
In a rare move on Tuesday, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee announced its support for Strickland in the primary. It’s uncommon for a national party committee to weigh in on a primary with no incumbent.
“[T]here is no question that he is the strongest candidate to defeat Rob Portman,” DSCC Executive Director Tom Lopach said in a statement. “We look forward to supporting Ted Strickland’s campaign and are confident that he will be a great Senator.”
The nod toward Strickland came a day after Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) endorsed him. Last week Strickland rolled out the endorsements of Ohio Democratic U.S. Reps. Marcia Fudge, Tim Ryan, and Joyce Beatty.
Sittenfeld has vowed to stay in the race, saying in an email to supporters last week, “I am more committed than ever to running for the United States Senate to provide new ideas and new leadership for the people of Ohio.”
Read the full DSCC statement below:
Ted Strickland has a long record of fighting for working folks in Ohio and there is no question that he is the strongest candidate to defeat Rob Portman. As a minister, psychologist, legislator and Governor, Ted Strickland’s life has been dedicated to helping people, and we need responsible public servants like Ted in the Senate. Judging by their daily attacks against him over the last month it’s clear that Senator Portman and his special interest allies are afraid to run against Ted and don’t want to defend Portman’s record of outsourcing jobs, supporting plans that dismantle Social Security & Medicare, and standing with Washington lobbyists over middle class Ohioans.
We look forward to supporting Ted Strickland’s campaign and are confident that he will be a great Senator.