Ted Strickland apologizes for comments on Scalia's death

 Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland speaks during day one of the Democratic National Convention on September 4, 2012, in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Story highlights

  • The former Ohio gov suggested it was good the Justice had died
  • He is currently challenging Rob Portman for the US Senate

(CNN)Ted Strickland, the former Ohio governor who is challenging Senator Rob Portman in a closely-watched race, apologized for saying Justice Antonin Scalia's death happened at a good time.

Speaking at an AFL-CIO event in Ohio Monday, the Democratic candidate noted the importance of which party controls the White House and Senate next year.
    "...The death of Scalia saved labor from a terrible decision," he said, according to a recording issued by the NTK Network, which calls itself a news aggregation site. "And I don't wish anyone ill, but it happened at a good time. Because once that decision had been made, it would have been tough to reverse it."
    Strickland apologized for the comment on Wednesday.
    "That was an insensitive remark and I apologize," he said in a statement released by his campaign.
    Scalia, a conservative stalwart on the Supreme Court, passed away in February unexpectedly at age 79. Republicans have declined to consider President Barack Obama's choice to replace Scalia, federal Appeals Court Judge Merrick Garland.