P.G. Sittenfeld

It’s hard to say for certain at this point, but Ohio’s junior U.S. Senator, Rob Portman, may have given the Democrats who want to take his job away from him in next year’s election a campaign issue.

Portman was one of 47 Republican senators who signed a letter last week to the leadership of Iran warning them that if they reach an agreement with the Obama administration on nuclear weapons, the next president and Congress could undo it.

Seven GOP senators did not sign the letter.

Former Ohio governor Ted Strickland’s bid for the U.S. Senate got a huge boost Tuesday morning when the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) endorsed his candidacy.

The DSCC is capable of raising millions of dollars for Democratic U.S. Senate candidates.

Its endorsement of Strickland is a blow to the campaign of Cincinnati city council member P.G. Sittenfeld, who is the only other announced Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Republican Rob Portman.

Ohio voters have 20 months before they go to the polls to vote for a U.S. Senator. But the race for incumbent Republican Rob Portman's seat is  already heating up. WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with news director Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about the state of the race.

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.

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.

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson spoke with Maryanne Zeleznik about three Cincinnati Democrats who could play a role in re-building the Ohio Democratic Party.

Yes, the Nov. 4 election was a complete train wreck for the Ohio Democratic Party.

The gubernatorial candidate, Ed FitzGerald, was so abysmally weak that he took only 33 percent of the vote again incumbent Republican John Kasich – the worst drubbing of a Democratic candidate for governor since an unknown state senator named Rob Burch had 25 percent of the vote against popular GOP incumbent George Voinovich in 1994.

A Cincinnati council member and the city are launching an effort to get more employers to pay their workers higher wages.  

P.G. Sittenfeld introduced the Cincinnati Living Wage Initiative Thursday morning at a press conference.  It asks businesses to voluntarily pay their employees $10.10 an hour. That's the amount of the proposed  federal minimum wage increase that has stalled in Congress.  

Sittenfeld said it could make people in the city less vulnerable.


Jay Hanselman / WVXU

A Cincinnati Council Member wants to expand a pilot program that requires banks to register their foreclosed properties with the city.  Right now it's being used in East and West Price Hill, Westwood, College Hill and Madisonville.  

P.G. Sittenfeld said it has worked and the program is self-sustaining.  He said banks are taking better care of the properties they own and the fees are generating enough revenue to pay for it.

Michael Keating

This week WVXU's political reporter Howard Wilkinson talks about the latest controversy with JobsOhio and what it could mean to Governor Kasich's reelection chances.  He also looks at the Cincinnati Council race and how some potential candidates are back out gathering signatures.

Pages