Pressure Intensifies For Ted Strickland To Debate
Anyone following the Ohio senate race knows that former Governor and liberal think tank shill Ted Strickland expected to have the Democratic senate nomination handed to him on a silver platter, but locking it up is proving difficult.
Strickland is facing a persistent primary challenge from Cincinnati City Councilor P.G. Sittenfeld, who is targeting Strickland’s left flank on hot-button issues for Democratic primary voters, like gun control and the Keystone XL pipeline.
Ohioans – including members of the media – are increasingly questioning whether Strickland should get a free ride. Editorial boards across Ohio are supporting Sittenfeld’s consistent calls for debates with Strickland. The Toledo Blade weighed in to push for debates back in August, and more recently called Strickland a “candidate without a platform.”
In this instance, Democratic leaders would do well to see the value. A party struggling to deliver statewide victories would gain a somewhat larger platform upon which to make its case, not to mention feature a generational continuity, Sittenfeld in his 30s, Strickland in his 70s.
More, there are enough differences between Sittenfeld and Strickland to offer an informative clash of views. A couple of weeks ago, Sittenfeld highlighted one difference in a talk about reducing gun violence. He outlined his positions on gun regulation, among other things, comprehensive background checks, reinstating the federal ban on military-style assault weapons and “microstamping” of ammunition to facilitate police tracking of bullets.
Sittenfeld reminded his audience that Strickland not too long ago won an A+ from the National Rifle Association.
Sittenfeld is sure to keep the drumbeat up in front of a room full of reporters in Akron today, and Strickland may need to start coming up with better answers for why he won’t debate.