Former Gov. Ted Strickland has started raising money for a 2016 U.S. Senate bid.
Katie Hough, who said she is helping Strickland with campaign contributions, confirmed to The Vindicator that the former governor “just got started” Monday seeking contributions for his Senate campaign.
In emails to donors to Strickland’s campaign, Hough wrote the contributions help “as the campaign gets moving.” She also wrote that the campaign has “a major filing deadline on March 31.”
The emails ask that checks be sent to “Strickland for Senate,” and gives the Ohio Democratic Party’s headquarters in Columbus as the mailing address.
Dennis Willard, a Democratic communications specialist who is handling press inquiries for what he calls “Team Strickland,” said Monday that the former governor “has started to raise money to better prepare himself to make a decision” on running.
“He is talking to supporters across the state,” Willard said.
Strickland hasn’t formed a campaign committee yet, Willard said. Those running for the Senate must form a committee and file the proper paperwork with the Federal Election Commission within 15 days of raising or spending $5,000, Willard said.
Strickland couldn’t be reached Monday by the newspaper to comment.
Three sources close to him told The Vindicator on Jan. 30 that Strickland was running, and plans to announce his bid sometime this month. Two other sources have since confirmed that.
Strickland said Feb. 9 that he would “make a decision” by the end of February about seeking the Democratic nomination for Senate, but declined to discuss his candidacy.
U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican from the Cincinnati area, will run for a second six-year term in 2016.
Cincinnati Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld announced Jan. 22 he would seek the Democratic nomination for Senate next year, is raising money and has put together a campaign team.
U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, who’s called Strickland a “mentor” and a close political ally, announced Friday that he wouldn’t run for the Senate next year.
Since The Vindicator article on Jan. 31, state and national Republicans have frequently criticized Strickland about his positions on coal, gun rights and support of Israel.