Portman keeps Senate seat, defeats Strickland

Portman held a sizable double-digit lead in the polls prior to Tuesday's election

Senator Rob Portman

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Ohio Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman has won re-election over Democratic former Gov. Ted Strickland.

Portman received more than 58 percent of the vote, according to unofficial returns.

Portman is the incumbent Republican senator. He ran against Democrat and former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, Green Party candidate Joseph DeMare and candidates Scot Rupert and Tom Connors, who have no party affiliation.

“I’m a proud sixth-generation Ohioan, and I learned those Ohio values of respect for others, service and hard work from my parents and my grandparents, who some of you knew,” Portman said during a speech on Tuesday.

Portman held a sizable double-digit lead in the polls, prompting the Strickland campaign to cut its TV buys in Youngstown and three other Ohio cities last month. Portman also got the endorsement of the Ohio Conference of Teamsters, which usually endorses Democrats, and the United Mine Workers of America

Meanwhile, Strickland was backed by the United Auto Workers, the AFL-CIO and AFSCME.

In his concession speech Tuesday, Strickland said he wasn’t pleased with the results, but he was glad to be given the opportunity to speak out “on behalf of hard-working Ohioans.”

“Tonight’s results for me were not what I had hoped for, but I am so grateful, grateful for those of you who have worked so hard for our effort,” he said.

Strickland has heavily criticized Portman, saying he was too late in denouncing Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for his sexually-charged statements. Portman later withdrew his support of Trump, while continuing to condemn Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Portman has said getting jobs for the men and women of Ohio is his top priority. He’s a big proponent of growing the steel and coal industries in the state.

He also has been on the front lines in Washington fighting heroin, recently sponsoring a bill known as CARA, which shifts federal funding to creating more treatment options.

Portman served in the administrations of Republican former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.

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