P.G. Sittenfeld

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.

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.

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about Cincinnati council member P.G. Sittenfeld's bid for the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination in 2016. Does Sittenfeld have a chance win the nomination and unseat GOP incumbent Rob Portman?

To almost no one’s surprise, Cincinnati council member P.G. Sittenfeld announced this week that he is running for the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination, with the hopes of knocking off incumbent Republican Rob Portman in November 2016.

Sittenfeld is an ambitious young man; and, especially in politics, there is nothing wrong with that. He had been dropping hints that he was considering jumping into the Senate race for weeks; and people on both sides of the aisle were taking him seriously.

Sarah Ramsey

Cincinnati council member P.G. Sittenfeld has launched his campaign for Ohio's U.S. Senate seat next year. 

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about the beginning stages of the 2016 U.S. Senate race in Ohio, the huge war chest of incumbent Rob Portman, and the Democrats who may try to take him on.

Ohio’s junior senator, Republican Rob Portman, fired a shot across the bow last week – a warning shot for anyone thinking about running against him in 2016.

His campaign committee put out a long statement saying that, as of the end of 2014, Portman had $5.8 million in the bank for his re-election campaign – a pretty incredible amount for 23 months before the election.

And the unspoken message was that he can get plenty more where that came from.