Meet the Ohio Senate Candidates

Thanks to the retirement of Sen. George Voinovich after two terms as one of Ohio’s two U.S. Senators (the other — not up for reelection this year — is Sherrod Brown), Ohio will be one of the most closely watched senatorial elections in the upcoming midterms.

For Republicans, every race is an opportunity to inch closer to majority status again — although that is more likely to happen in the House than in the Senate. Democrats, of course, are biting their nails to the quick over the same possibility — which, as White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs warned, should not be taken lightly.

At this writing, the two candidates vying for Sen. Voinovich’s seat — Lee Fisher and Rob Portman, Democrat and Republican, respectively — are virtually in a dead heat. Portman, however, has a huge money advantage: As of June 30, almost $9 million is sitting in his campaign coffers. Fisher has a scant $1 million. So, even though their name recognition is similar (Fisher is Ohio’s Lieutenant-Governor; Portman represents Ohio’s second congressional district in the House of Representatives), Portman “has the resources to raise his profile, while Fisher has to sweat every nickel.”

Next week: Portman and Fisher on the issues.

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