COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland has landed the backing of the president and vice president as he faces a surprisingly persistent primary opponent in a race for U.S. Senate.
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden endorsed Strickland over Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld on Wednesday.
Obama calls the ex-governor and former congressman "a passionate and proven champion for the middle class." Biden says Strickland's personal story of overcoming adversity has contributed to a commitment to working families.
Sittenfeld's campaign suggested the Democratic establishment must be "mighty nervous" to bestow such lofty endorsements. It cited support for Sittenfeld by numerous Democratic local officials, former Ohio Gov. Richard Celeste and some large Ohio newspapers.
The winner of the Democratic primary March 15 faces incumbent Republican Sen. Rob Portman in November.