Ohio Dems Begin Slinging Mud In Testy Primary Fight

Democrats in Ohio are trying to silence a wing of their party that wants to see an open debate of ideas in a Senate primary, according to Senate candidate P.G. Sittenfeld.

In an attempt to belittle Sittenfeld’s experience, former Gov. Ted Strickland told Ohio Democrats on Saturday, “This is not a Little League Baseball game,” a dig at Sittenfeld’s age (30) and experience.

Then he insisted the Ohio Democratic Party’s executive committee endorse him for Senate, which they did.

In response, Sittenfeld said:

“For millions of Democrats across the state to see a small group of party officials diminish voters’ voices runs contrary to what our party stands for… We reject the idea that elites know best.”

Sittenfeld’s campaign manager said the Ohio Dems’ decision will not affect Sittenfeld’s resolve to continue campaigning.

Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bill O’Neill was so put out with Strickland’s actions, he encouraged everyone he knew to leave the Ohio Democratic Party:

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O’Neill spoke to the Columbus Dispatch about the issue:

“I’m concerned about the future of the Ohio Democratic Party,” he said, adding that the party over the last three cycles has “amassed a history of losses that is an embarrassment to those of us who have worked inside the party for the past 40 years.”

“I think they have badly wounded Ted Strickland’s chances of becoming a U.S. Senator,” he said, saying that Strickland will spend the next 12 months not being challenged on anything. 

“We’re giving him a free ride to the nomination, and by doing that, we’re telling all the young people who wanted to get involved in that race to get lost,” he said.