By Phillip Stucky, DCNF
Ohio Republican Rob Portman is receiving support from some unusual quarters in his reelection bid.
Black Lives Matter of Cuyahoga County (BLMCC) announced Friday support for Portman, citing disagreements with how Democratic challenger Ted Strickland handles drug addicts and incarceration.
“In the current atmosphere of identity politics, BLMCC understands that endorsing even a well-qualified Republican such as Portman seems controversial; despite the fact that it was minorities who suffered the brunt of Ted Strickland’s gross financial mismanagement,” President Jeff Mixon said in an official statement.
Portman fought for drug addicts during his long stay in the U.S. House of Representatives. Portman even published an article calling for a new approach in the war on drugs in 1996.
Although black residents make up a small portion of the state-wide population, black males aged between 18-19 were 10 times more likely to be incarcerated than white males the same age, and black females the same age were four times more likely to be incarcerated than white females, according to the State’s crime statistics.
“One thing that we at BLMCC feel confident about is this: the definition of ‘rational’ is not doing the same thing over and over – with little or no thought – expecting a different result,” Mixon continued. “At some point, minority communities must carefully examine the impact of relying solely on the Democratic Sample Ballot on Election Day.”
The Real Clear Average poll in the Senate race puts Portman ahead of Strickland by four points. The most recent polling in the race was published Monday, and revealed a five point lead, 43-38 percent.
Rob Portman won his state-wide Senate seat in 2010 with 57 percent of the vote. Portman spent $5.1 million on his race, a high number for that year.
Senator Portman raised almost $21 million in campaign funds to date for this race, not including PAC money from groups like the Senate Leadership Fund. The campaign went into July with over $13 million in funds available against Strickland.
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