U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown is endorsing former Gov. Ted Strickland as the Democrat best suited to challenge fellow senator Rob Portman next year.
Strickland, a one-term governor and former congressman, announced plans last month to challenge Portman, a Republican.
Strickland first must defeat 30-year-old Cincinnati city councilman P.G. Sittenfeld in the 2016 Democratic primary.
Sittenfeld has said he brings youth and new ideas to the party and has no plans to step aside.
In a statement, Strickland’s campaign called Brown a strong voice for the same working and middle-class families Strickland seeks to represent if elected. Republicans criticize Strickland for betraying former stances on coal and guns.
Republicans control all Ohio’s statewide offices, its high court and Legislature, making Brown the highest-ranking Democratic elected official in the state.