COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – It’s official: Ex-Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland and Cincinnati councilman P.G. Sittenfeld will face off in March in a Democratic primary for U.S. Senate.
Sittenfeld, a 31-year-old city councilman from Cincinnati, has resisted steady pressure from the Democratic establishment to clear the way for Strickland to take on sitting Republican Rob Portman next year.
Sittenfeld filed candidate petitions Monday. Strickland filed on Tuesday.
Strickland is the Democrats’ endorsed candidate. His favorability and name ID exceeded Portman’s in some early polling and he’s already been targeted in more than $2 million of outside advertising.
Sittenfeld has sought to distinguish his candidacy by saying he would favor stronger gun restrictions than either Portman or Strickland.
Sittenfeld also has unsuccessfully sought to debate Strickland. Strickland says he’s focused on beating Portman in the fall.