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Dick Celeste backs Sittenfeld in Senate race

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Posted at 9:37 PM, Feb 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-10 21:37:24-05

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- In his U.S. Senate campaign against one former Ohio governor, Democrat P.G. Sittenfeld has landed the support of another.

Richard Celeste, a popular two-term governor in the 1980s, is set to endorse the 31-year-old Cincinnati councilman Thursday over Democratic front-runner Ted Strickland.

IN DEPTH: Why Sittenfeld isn't backing down

The announcement marks a blow to Strickland, who's seen a steady trickle of establishment support defect to Sittenfeld's camp.

Ohio Democrats endorsed Strickland early in an effort to rally money and resources around a well-known candidate with the clout to unseat incumbent Republican Rob Portman this fall. But Strickland has so far significantly undershot his lofty fundraising goals and taken flak from editorial boards for refusing to debate Sittenfeld ahead of the March 15 primary.

Strickland was endorsed Wednesday by 21 northwest Ohio leaders, including Toledo's mayor.