Strickland’s US Senate bid bolstered by local Ohio Democrats

FILE - In this June 21, 2016, file photo, former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, the Democratic nominee for the Senate in Ohio, speaks in Columbus, Ohio. Republican Sen. Rob Portman rolls out a labor endorsement from a union that had backed his Democratic rival Strickland amid growing concerns among Democrats that Strickland is running a lackluster campaign and their chances of flipping the Ohio seat could be slipped away. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete, File)
FILE - In this June 21, 2016, file photo, former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, the Democratic nominee for the Senate in Ohio, speaks in Columbus, Ohio. Republican Sen. Rob Portman rolls out a labor endorsement from a union that had backed his Democratic rival Strickland amid growing concerns among Democrats that Strickland is running a lackluster campaign and their chances of flipping the Ohio seat could be slipped away. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete, File)

CINCINNATI (AP) — The Democratic state chairman and other local leaders have helped U.S. Senate candidate Ted Strickland kick off an Ohio campaign tour where he’ll contrast his record on working families with the record of his November opponent, Republican Sen. Rob Portman.

Ohio Democrats are moving to bolster the former governor after national groups began pulling pro-Strickland money out of Ohio in recent weeks.

Portman has seen his re-election campaign rise against Strickland’s early popularity. His efforts have been supported by millions in anti-Strickland ads by outside groups.

Local leaders standing with Strickland at his tour’s Cincinnati kickoff Thursday included Cincinnati Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld, his rival in the Democratic primary. Democratic state chairman David Pepper, Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune, former Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory and current Mayor John Cranley also attended.

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