Sources: Strickland to run for U.S. Senate in 2016

Former Gov. Ted Strickland will run for the U.S. Senate next year, sources close to him confirmed today.

Attempts to reach Strickland, a Democrat, by The Vindicator today have been unsuccessful.

However, those sources say he told political allies Thursday that he would run in the 2016 Democratic primary for the seat and was spending today talking to high-level donors about his decision.

Strickland, 73, will visit Israel shortly and doesn’t plan to make an official announcement until the middle of February, one source said.

Strickland runs the Center for American Progress Action Fund, a politically progressive organization in Washington, D.C. One source said Strickland will resign from the group to concentrate on the Senate bid.

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican from the Cincinnati area, is running for re-election next year. Portman’s campaign has $5.8 million in his re-election fund and the endorsement of about 250 Republicans, including every statewide officeholder and most Republicans in the General Assembly.

Cincinnati councilman P.G. Sittenfeld announced last week that he would seek the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate next year. Sittenfeld spoke to Strickland before announcing his bid, but has declined to discuss whether he’d stay in the race if the former governor chose to run.

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Howland, D-13th, has said he’s interested in the Senate seat, and would have a decision in the coming weeks. It’s unlikely that Ryan, a longtime ally of Strickland, would get into the race with the former governor as a candidate.

Strickland, a former six-term U.S. House member who represented portions of the Mahoning Valley for four years, lost the 2010 gubernatorial race by 2 percentage points to Republican John Kasich.

Also in 2016 is the presidential race with Hillary Rodham Clinton, a close political ally of Strickland, considered the leading Democratic candidate.

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