With talks about the TPP on the site recently, I figured I'd pass along this story. First off, looks like we have our first Democrat jumping into the race to take on U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R. OH):
Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld officially launched a U.S. Senate bid Thursday, following two weeks of exploratory fundraising.
The 30-year-old, who also serves as assistant director of a community-schooling organization, is the first Democrat to jump into the race.
The winner of that primary likely will face Republican incumbent Rob Portman, 59, in November 2016. Portman plans to seek re-election rather than run for president and put potential rivals on notice recently by disclosing a well-funded campaign account.
"The Washington insiders have stacked the deck against working families – and they're too disconnected from Ohio values, Ohio priorities, and Ohio ingenuity to solve the big problems facing the nation," Sittenfeld said Thursday in an emailed statement. "It's time for a new generation of leaders to step forward for our country. As Ohio's next Senator, I'll work to strengthen the economy, stand up for the middle class, and create opportunity for everyone."
Sittenfeld, despite his youth, has established himself as a leading fundraiser and vote-getter in Cincinnati, which also is Portman's home turf. Sittenfeld also has garnered statewide and national attention for his politicking and policy ideas. He has been making the rounds for months in preparation of a run for higher office.
Asked about his age Thursday, Sittenfeld contrasted it with Portman's many years of Washington experience and said his conversations in recent weeks convinced him that there is an "appetite" for new leadership. He said he would not have decided to run if he wasn't sure he would have considerable support behind him, but he said he wasn't ready to publicly identify those who are backing his candidacy. - Northeast Ohio Media Group, 1/22/15
And of course Republicans immediately went after him:
“Clearly, national Democrats have hit rock bottom if they are hitching their electoral hopes in Ohio to an overly ambitious 30-year-old city councilman whose Senate candidacy is nothing more than a disingenuous attempt to get closer to his ‘hero’ President Obama and his reckless policies,” the National Republican Senatorial Committee said in a statement.
Ohio Republican Party spokesman Chris Schrimpf added, “Everyday, Rob Portman wakes up and thinks about how he can help Ohio, P.G. thinks about how P.G. can advance his own career. P.G. is like the second coming of (defeated Democratic gubernatorial candidate) Ed FitzGerald, but with even less experience and more arrogance.”
Prior to Sittenfeld's announcement, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper talked of his fellow Cincinnatian, labeling him as the type of energetic young leader that could appeal to some disinterested Democrats, particularly younger ones.
"If he’s going to run, he's doing it the right way," Pepper said, noting Sittenfeld has made the rounds of Democrat officials throughout Ohio to introduce himself and his beliefs. "He's done a lot of hard work."
Pepper noted that Sittenfeld faces some serious potential contenders for the nomination, including Strickland. "I'm glad to see a number of serious candidates. That's a good thing," he said.
The youngest-ever Cincinnati City Council member after winning his first-term in 2011, Sittenfeld received his bachelor's degree from Princeton University and attended graduate school at Oxford University. - Columbus Dispatch, 1/22/15
But I for one am liking how Sittenfeld is hitting Portman and I think this could be a serious line of attack:
The Princeton grad, who emphasized his work to improve local public schools in his announcement, ticked off a list of policies he said would land Portman in hot water with his constituents — from his opposition to raising the minimum wage to his advocacy for trade deals he said put residents out of work.
“Rob Portman is Mr. Trade,” he said.
He added that the potshots about his age actually help his case. He called Portman the “architect of a Bush budget” that preceded a national economic downturn, and noted he was the U.S. trade representative “when the trade deficit with China exploded.”
“That’s not good experience,” he said. “I’ll take that contrast gladly.” - Politico, 1/22/15
Of course Democrats are waiting to see is former Governor Ted Strickland and Rep. Tim Ryan want to jump in but I'm certainly interested in seeing Sittenfeld's campaign when it's in action. If you want to learn more about him, click here: