(CNN) – With President Obama's nomination of federal appeals court judge Sonia Sotomayor to sit on the Supreme Court, both Democrats and Republicans see an opportunity to rally their respective bases.
Now, two Democrats running for Ohio's open U.S. Senate seat in 2010 are seizing on the chance to score points with liberals and party activists - the kind of people who vote in Democratic primaries - by pledging to "to help lead the fight for the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor."
Ohio Senate candidate Jennifer Brunner, seeking an edge in what's expected to be tough primary contest against Ohio Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher, sent an e-mail to supporters on Wednesday asking them to thank President Obama for nominating Sotomayor and commit themselves to help her confirmation succeed.
Brunner, Ohio's Secretary of State, notes that like Sotomayor, she is also "a Democrat, a woman, a former judge myself, and most of all, an American."
Her e-mail follows a Tuesday note from Fisher, who praised the Sotomayor selection as "a proud moment for our country" and asked his backers to sign a message "in support of an orderly and civil confirmation process for Judge Sotomayor."
Both candidates' e-mails link to campaign Web pages that solicit donations and e-mail addresses, which will likely be used to refine their lists of voters to contact as next year's primary approaches.
STORY UPDATED at 5:55 PM EST to include Fisher's e-mail.