Dem Senate Candidate Ted Strickland’s Fundraiser Quits

Ted Strickland
Ted Strickland / AP

The fundraiser for Ted Strickland, a Democratic candidate for Senate in Ohio, abruptly turned in her resignation this week.

The Northeast Ohio Media Group reported:

Cleveland.com’s Stephen Koff reports that the resignation of finance director Mary "Polly" Pfeiffer from the Democrat’s U.S. Senate campaign is not by itself a sign of trouble. People close to the former governor’s team tell Koff that any suggestion Pfeiffer’s departure signals turmoil is flat-out wrong. But the move had a bit of a canary-in-the-coal mine effect, catching the attention of people who watch the mechanics and strategies of political campaigns.

The news of Pfeiffer’s resignation comes in the wake of three disappointing fundraising quarters for Strickland. The former governor of Ohio netted $970,714 in contributions in the third quarter, elevating the total in his campaign account to about $1.5 million after expenses.

Strickland has collected a net total of $2.7 million for his campaign, which represents just over 13 percent of the $20 million his advisers recommended he would need to beat incumbent Sen. Rob Portman (R).

Justin Brennan, now Strickland’s deputy campaign manager, and political adviser Erik Greathouse penned a memo to Strickland late last year urging him to run for Senate in which they recommended he raise $20 million by November 2016 to successfully compete against Portman.

With Pfeiffer’s exit, Brennan, formerly the finance director for Priorities USA, will likely step up to fulfill her duties.

Before Strickland can face Portman in the general contest, he will need to beat Democratic opponent P.G. Sittenfeld, a 31-year-old Cincinnati city councilman, in the primary election. While Sittenfeld has  less than Strickland–about $784,000–in his campaign account, the young candidate does have support from a Super PAC formed by Ohio Democrats who oppose how quickly the Ohio Democratic Party endorsed Strickland.

Portman has eclipsed them both in fundraising, raising more than $2 million in the third quarter and raising his campaign account total to over $11 million.