- Associated Press - Thursday, February 11, 2016

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Former Ohio Gov. Richard Celeste handed his endorsement on Thursday to the underdog in the Democratic race for U.S. Senate, candidate P.G. Sittenfeld.

Celeste, a popular two-term Democratic governor in the 1980s, is backing the 31-year-old Cincinnati councilman over former Gov. Ted Strickland in the March primary.

Celeste called Sittenfeld a “breath of fresh air” with the best chance of winning in November.

Sittenfeld’s candidacy is needed “at a time when so many voters believe Washington is broken and are hungry for change,” said Celeste, who now lives in Colorado.

Ohio Democrats have endorsed Strickland as they try to rally money and resources around a well-known candidate whom they believe has the clout to unseat incumbent Republican Rob Portman.

Strickland has taken some flak from editorial boards for refusing to debate Sittenfeld and has so far undershot his lofty fundraising goals.

Strickland’s campaign said he’s received a steady stream of endorsements from elected officials, student groups, unions and others. Thirty-one northwest Ohio leaders, including Toledo’s mayor, backed him on Wednesday.

Celeste is supporting Hillary Clinton for president. Sittenfeld said he hasn’t taken a position, saying he supports letting the primary system work.

Republicans hold all statewide offices in Ohio and control both chambers of the General Assembly, a change from when Celeste was in office.

Celeste said it’s time for a new generation of Democrats such as Sittenfeld to seek office. “We need more young people competing for offices and being willing to work hard at it,” Celeste said.

He also called for changing the way the state draws congressional district lines to a nonpartisan process.



Click to Read More

Click to Hide