Regardless of who prevails in November’s presidential election, leadership will be especially critical in Congress in coming years.
In the Senate, Republican Rob Portman, who was first elected there in 2010, is seeking a second, six-year term. He provides Ohio’s best bet for continued strong representation and we endorse him for another term.
Portman’s challenger, Democrat Ted Strickland, once served in the U.S. House of Representatives, and then as Ohio’s governor.
Strickland’s time in the governor’s office coincided with the national recession and, when he left office, Ohio had an $8 billion budget deficit and the state was losing jobs. Many blamed Strickland for the state’s economic problems and, during a re-election try, he was defeated by Gov. John Kasich by two percentage points.
Portman has represented Ohio well in the Senate and has shown the ability to work with both Republicans and Democrats, including Ohio Democrat Sen. Sherrod Brown.
Close to home, Portman has kept abreast of Hancock County’s ongoing flood-control project, and has pledged support for it. His continued involvement will remain important even with the Army Corps of Engineers’ reduced role.
Portman has also helped to address Ohio’s heroin/opioid epidemic on the federal level. He took a strong role as one of the sponsors of the Comprehensive Addiction & Recovery Act, which was signed into law this summer. It will help save lives by expanding access to education, treatment, and recovery programs that have proven to work, along with giving law enforcement additional tools to combat overdoses.
Portman, an attorney from Cincinnati, served the 2nd District in the U.S. House. During 12 years there, he authored bills to increase retirement savings, reform the Internal Revenue Service and add over 50 new taxpayer rights, curb unfunded mandates, reduce taxes, and expand drug prevention and land conservation efforts.
Portman later served as a trade representative with the cabinet-level responsibility for implementing and enforcing U.S. trade policy, and then as director of the Office of Management and Budget, where he proposed a balanced budget, fighting irresponsible earmarks, and putting in place transparency measures for all federal spending.
In the Senate, he is a member of the Finance Committee, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and Committee on the Budget. He is also chairman of the permanent subcommittee on investigations.
Strickland has lagged behind in recent polls and has lost financial support from major party backers. While he is a seasoned politician, Portman is simply the more qualified candidate.
Portman isn’t without critics. He has endorsed Donald Trump for president, but he has not actively campaigned with Trump, much to the chagrin of some Republicans.
At a time when many people may be looking for a shake-up in federal government, Portman still offers common-sense ideas that most Ohioans can relate to.
We encourage voters to stick with Portman at a time when his leadership and experience may be more important than ever. He has earned another term.
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