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Senate Candidates Blast Each Other Over Everything From Trump to Trade But Agree on One Thing...


Republican U.S. Senator Rob Portman and Democratic challenger, former Gov. Ted Strickland met Monday for their second debate of the campaign hosted by 10TV in Columbus.  Portman, in his opening statement focused on his commitments to fighting the opioid crisis and human trafficking, and his plans for Ohio’s and the nation’s economic recovery.

Strickland talked about his wide ranging experiences as a minister, psychologist, Congressman, and governor contrasted with his families humble origins.

Much of Monday's debate was a rehash of the previous time the candidates clashed, with protracted jabs from Ted Strickland on Portman's endorsement, and belated un-endorsement of Donald Trump; while Portman blasted Strickland on job losses in Ohio during the recent recession and his depletion of Ohio's rainy day fund.

Both candidates also tried to spin positive messages amid the barbs, with Portman promising to continue fighting Ohio's opioid crisis, and Strickland pledging to serve the needs of the working man if he's elected.

One rare policy alignment, albeit qualified, was on the question of the need for immigration reform. Portman responded that border security is a priority, but he also believes that people living in the shadows should have a chance to pay a fine, or any back taxes, and be put on a path to legalization.

His answer surprised Strickland.

“Well I’m really happy.  It sounds like Senator Portman and I have found something we can have some measure of agreement on. He indicated a pathway to legalization, I think that’s certainly a beginning, but I would like to see a pathway to citizenship ultimately for these folks.” 

Strickland trails Portman by double digits in most polls.

The two candidates meet again this Thursday in Cleveland.  WKSU will carry that debate LIVE starting at 7:00pm.

CORRECTION: The original version of this story stated that Sen. Portman supports a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, in fact he said he supports a path to legalization for those without criminal records.

Jeff is your average chemist turned radio host and reporter. He currently hosts middays on WKSU and has reported extensively on science, politics, business, and the environment.