Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) scored two key endorsements this week from unions that had previously backed his Democratic challenger, Ted Strickland — and the GOP senator is all too eager to remind Strickland about it.
In a new ad being released Thursday, Portman taunts Strickland for losing the support of the Ohio Teamsters and the state’s Fraternal Order of Police, among other organizations. Both groups had endorsed Strickland in his previous gubernatorial runs in 2006 and 2010, but changed their minds this time and threw their support behind Portman.
Story Continued Below
“The people who know Ted Strickland best are saying no to his run for the U.S. Senate. Strickland’s lost the support of the NRA and the Fraternal Order of Police,” the ad’s narrator says. “He’s lost the support of the United Mine Workers and Teamsters. Ted Strickland used to listen to us on issues like coal, manufacturing jobs and the Second Amendment. But he’s changed.”
The endorsement from the Ohio Teamsters, which claims 50,000 members across the state, was particularly noteworthy. Not only did the union back Strickland previously, but it had endorsed other powerful state and national Democrats, including Ohio’s labor-friendly Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown and Barack Obama in his presidential reelection campaign in 2012. Teamsters also endorsed Portman’s Democratic opponent, Lee Fisher, in 2010.
Strickland’s campaign has noted that the former Democratic governor has nabbed a host of influential labor endorsements as well, including the United Auto Workers, AFL-CIO, Service Employees International Union, and most recently this week, the Ohio Association of Professional Firefighters. The Fraternal Order of Police typically leans Republican in federal races.
A Portman campaign spokeswoman said Thursday’s radio ad is part of a broader $1 million reservation on Ohio radio in the battleground …