Politics

Obama and Biden Make Senate Primary Endorsements

Murphy scored endorsements from the president and vice president. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden stepped into two of Democrats' Senate primaries Wednesday morning, throwing their support behind the establishment-backed candidates in Ohio and Florida.  

Ahead of the state's March 15 primary, Obama and Biden backed former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland in his race against P.G. Sittenfeld for the Democratic nod to take on GOP Sen. Rob Portman in November. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee backed Strickland in March. "Ohioans have no greater friend than Ted Strickland. Ted is a passionate and proven champion for the middle class, and when Ohio sends him to the United States Senate, he will continue to be a tireless fighter for hardworking families," Obama said in a statement.  

“I know Ted: his story of struggles overcome and perseverance in the face of adversity has forged his deep commitment to working families," Biden echoed.  

They also endorsed Florida Rep. Patrick Murphy, another Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee -backed candidate, in his race against fellow Florida Rep. Alan Grayson.  

“I am proud to endorse Congressman Patrick Murphy for the United States Senate. Patrick has been a tireless champion for middle-class families and a defender of the economic progress that American workers and businesses have made," Obama said in a statement.  

"Patrick Murphy has the progressive values, the work ethic, and the youthful energy the U.S. Senate needs," said Biden, who will be campaigning with Murphy on March 28.  

Murphy has consistently led in fundraising, but as one of the wealthiest members of Congres s, Grayson has the ability to pour significant personal resources into his campaign should he choose to. Grayson is known as a progressive in the House, and some polling has showed him leading in the primary , but he's come under more scrutiny recently for his role as a hedge fund manager. The Florida primary isn't until Aug. 30.  

Contact Pathé at  simonepathe@rollcall.com  and follow her on Twitter at  @sfpathe . Related: Roll Call Race Ratings Map: Ratings for Every House and Senate Race in 2016 Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.