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Government & Politics

Labor Union Endorsements of Portman Raise Questions About Ohio's Senate Race

photo of Rob Portman and Ted Strickland

Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman is enjoying a surge of momentum lately by earning the endorsement of several unions, which typically support the Democratic nominee. Other unions are doubling down on their support of Ted Strickland.

So far four labor unions --  International Union of Operating Engineers, United Mineworkers, Teamsters and Fraternal Order of Police -- are backing the Republican Sen. Rob Portman in his re-election fight against Democratic former Gov. Ted Strickland. Portman says the groups like what he has to say about job development and regulations.

“Those kinds of issues union members care about, on the trade front they want to have a shot at their own American dream,” Portman said.

A large majority of Ohio’s unions still back Strickland however, and although they’ve already announced their endorsements, groups like Tim Burga’s AFL-CIO are echoing their support.

“Rob Portman has been wrong and Ted Strickland has been right,” Burga said.

Strickland says the unions supporting Portman are trying to get the best deal possible on pending pension deals.