The U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday endorsed Republican Sen. Rob Portman in Ohio’s 2016 Senate race.
“Ohio voters have a crystal clear choice in the U.S. Senate race. Rob Portman is a tested and proven champion for American Free Enterprise,” Rob Engstrom, the chamber’s senior vice president and national political director, said in a statement. “Leadership matters, and we appreciate his 91% rating with the U.S. Chamber.”
Engstrom also criticized Ted Strickland, the Democratic nominee, who served as Ohio governor from 2007 to 2011 and before that in the House for more than a decade.
“Former Governor Ted Strickland has a record of failure in Columbus and Washington that he is struggling to defend,” Engstrom said. “Whether it’s the 350,000 jobs lost during his tenure as governor, the soaring unemployment, $8 billion budget hole, or Ohio’s rank as 48th in job creation, Ted Strickland will be held accountable by Ohio voters. Again.”
Portman, who is one of the most vulnerable Republicans this election cycle, is running for a second Senate term. A polling average by RealClearPolitics shows Strickland leading with 42.5 percent support to Portman’s 41 percent.
Last week, the chamber endorsed another vulnerable Republican incumbent, Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.