(AP) Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman has defeated former Gov. Ted Strickland in a race that once looked like one of the Democrats’ best bets to flip a Senate seat.
Portman, a former U.S. trade representative and budget director, was first elected to the Senate in 2010. He ran a strong campaign, branding Strickland early on as “Retread Ted” and tying him to Ohio’s sinking economy during Strickland’s governorship, which coincided with the national recession.
Portman kept Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump at a distance leading up to Tuesday’s election. Portman didn’t campaign with Trump and withdrew his endorsement when a 2005 tape of Trump making lewd comments about kissing and groping women surfaced last month.
Portman’s TV ads touted his work to combat the heroin epidemic, including a new law Portman co-sponsored.