U.S. Senate

There must be a lot of Democratic Party leaders around Ohio scratching their heads lately.

Why, they must be asking themselves, is P.G. Sittenfeld, the 30-year-old Cincinnati councilman who announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate some time ago, still in the race?

It’s been almost two weeks now since the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee threw its support behind former governor Ted Strickland for the 2016 U.S. Senate nomination.

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.

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.  

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.

Sen. Rob Portman threw a bucket of cold water on those who were hot to see him run for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination when he announced Monday that he would be running for re-election to a second term in the Senate instead.

Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, has put an end to speculation that he might run for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination by saying he will run for a second term in the Senate.

Portman, the 59-year-old first term senator from Terrace Park, had been mulling over the possibility of a 2016 run for the presidency for months, encouraged by political advisers and major GOP campaign contributors.

Portman told WVXU Tuesday that he is looking forward to being part of the new Republican majority in the Senate - a majority he helped create as the Senate GOP's chief fundraiser in 2014.

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