Summit Dems are Expected to Part with the State Party and Back Sittenfeld

Jan 18, 2016

Democrats in the state’s fourth largest county are breaking with their state party and backing the underdog candidate for U.S. Senate. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more.

Sittenfeld highlighted Strickland's A rating from the NRA when he appeared before the Akron Press Club last month.
Credit M.L. SCHULTZE / WKSU

This morning Akron’s new Mayor Dan Horrigan, Summit County Executive Russ Pry, state Sen. Tom Sawyer and others on the A-list of Summit County Democrats are expected to announce their support in the March primary for P.G. Sittenfeld for U.S. Senate.

The state Democratic Party took the unusual step of endorsing early in the primary, putting its weight behind former Gov. Ted Strickland and trying to get Sittenfeld to drop out. But the 31-year-old Cincinnati councilman has refused to back off.

Sawyer attended a speech by Sittenfeld at the Akron Press Club last month and said he thinks statewide Democrats made a big mistake in endorsing. He stopped short then of a formal endorsement.

Strickland, who has easily outraised and has far greater name recognition than Sittenfeld, will address the Press Club Monday. He’s not responded to Sittenfeld’s calls for face-to-face debates.

The winner of the March 15 primary will take on incumbent Republican Sen. Rob Portman. The race is considered one of the key half-dozen Senate races in the country this fall.