COLUMBUS, Ohio – U.S. Sen. Rob Portman has made official his plans to seek re-election next year.
His campaign says the Cincinnati Republican submitted the maximum 3,000 signatures Tuesday to the Ohio Secretary of State in order to be placed on next year’s ballot. Portman gathered names in all 88 Ohio counties as he seeks to send a message he’s got statewide support and can win.
Even before it is official, the contest is among the most expensive and closely watched 2016 races in the country.
Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland is Portman’s likely opponent. The Democrat has a rare primary endorsement from the state party, relatively high name recognition across the state and is enough of a threat that he has already been targeted in more than $2 million in outside advertising.