2016 election

The last time we checked, there were two Democratic candidates who have officially jumped into the 2016 U.S. Senate race – former Ohio governor Ted Strickland and Cincinnati council member P.G. Sittenfeld.

You wouldn’t know it by the way Republican Party leaders have been behaving lately.

So far, the vast majority of the verbal, virtual, and video bombs being lobbed by the GOP have been aimed squarely at Strickland – who, without doubt, enters the race as the best known of the two Democrats and the one with the longest record in public office.

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with news director Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about the boost Rand Paul's presidential ambitions have gotten lately; and how House Speaker John Boehner failed to rally his caucus around a three-week spending plan for the Homeland Security Department.

Former Ohio Democratic governor Ted Strickland made it official Wednesday morning – he will run for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Republican Rob Portman.

Strickland, who lost his race for re-election as governor in 2010, made the announcement official in an e-mail Wednesday morning, ending months of speculation about whether he would jump into the race.

“I’m running for the United States Senate in 2016 because I am determined to restore the American dream for working people in this country,’’ Strickland said in a press release.

WVXU political reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about the fact that Republican governor John Kasich has to decide soon if he is running for the GOP presidential nomination. And former Democratic governor Ted Strickland is on the verge of deciding whether or not to make a bid for the U.S. Senate.

It is not hard to understand why most folks in these parts might have been distracted this week from following the daily comings and goings of the nascent campaign for Ohio’s U.S. Senate seat.

The election which, for the record, is still a little over 20 months away.

First there was the distraction of the record-breaking cold and its running mate, record-breaking snow.

A spokesman for former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland says the Democrat has started raising money for a U.S. Senate candidacy, but has yet to decide if he will run.

Michael E. Keating

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about the prospects of former Ohio governor Ted Strickland running for the U.S. Senate; and how the Republican Party is reacting to that.

For someone who has not even announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate, Ohio’s former Democratic governor, Ted Strickland, has been under heavy verbal artillery fire from the Republican establishment.

The GOP – in particularly, the National Republican Senate Committee (NRSC)  and the Ohio Republican Party (ORP) – has been regularly blasting Strickland in press releases for even considering running for the seat now held by Republican Rob Portman, even going so far as to use the words of a well-known Ohio Democratic political consultant to get under Strickland’s skin.

Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

 An independent poll released Tuesday found a majority of Ohioans are happy with Gov. John Kasich, but also found that support for U.S. Sen. Rob Portman is generally positive but somewhat soft.

The Quinnipiac University poll showed 40 percent of Ohioans approve of the job Portman is doing, while 21 percent said they disapproved. Ohio’s Democratic senator, Sherrod Brown, had 45 percent job approval.  

The group that’s behind a proposed marijuana legalization amendment has released more details about its plan; and it includes growing facilities in Hamilton, Clermont and Butler counties.

The proposed constitutional amendment would legalize marijuana for recreational use by adults 21 and over and for medical use with permission of a doctor.

Backers of the plan wold have to gather the valid signatures of about 306,000 Ohio voters by the beginning of July to place the issue on the November ballot.

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