Government

Portman Sets Campaign Team as Dems Mull Race

COLUMBUS, Ohio — U.S. Sen. Rob Portman Thursday announced members of his senior campaign team as he prepares for reelection, the same day a Cincinnati city councilman announced he would seek the Democratic nomination to unseat the senator.

P.G. Sittenfeld, also assistant director of the Community Learning Center Institute in Cincinnati, said he would seek the Democratic nomination to challenge Portman in 2016.

Also mulling a challenge to Portman’s bid for a second term is U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-13 Ohio. The Mahoning Valley congressman has said he will decide by spring whether he will run for the U.S. Senate seat.

Corey Bliss, a top Republican strategist, was named Portman’s campaign manager. The announcement cites Bliss’ experience “running campaigns in some of the most difficult environments in the country.” Most recently, at the request of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, he helped Pat Roberts win re-election to his U.S. Senate seat in Kansas and was named by Fox News as one of the main reasons for Roberts’ victory. During the 2012 cycle, he managed Linda McMahon’s U.S. Senate race in Connecticut.

“Corry Bliss is among the best campaign managers in the country,” Roberts said in the Portman campaign’s announcement. “Corry’s discipline, political savvy, and meticulous organizational skills are unparalleled and were vital to my re-election. Sen. Portman made a great choice and I am confident Corry will serve him well, and I look forward to celebrating a Portman victory in 2016.”

Also named to Portman’s campaign team were Kevin Hoggatt as political director and Natalie Baur as finance director.

Hoggatt is director of development and special projects in Portman’s official office. During the 2008 and 2012 presidential cycles, he assisted Portman with debate preparations for Mitt Romney and John McCain’s presidential campaigns.

Baur is the founder of N.K. Baur & Associates, Inc., a consulting firm. She specializes in fundraising, finance management, election and ethics law compliance, special events and public affairs.

Earlier this month, the Portman for Senate campaign announced it ended 2014 with $5.8 million cash on hand.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.