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The Statehouse News Bureau provides educational, comprehensive coverage of legislation, elections, issues and other activities surrounding the Statehouse to Ohio's public radio and television stations.

Ohio Dems Begin Push Against Portman For 2022

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020 in Washington. [Alex Brandon / AP]
Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020 in Washington.

Ohio Democrats are trying to stir up support for a future challenger against Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) whose vote for new U.S. Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett sparked an online fundraiser.

Democrats say the fundraiser will go on to help whoever wins the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate race in 2022. The request for contributions went up online and began to circulate on Twitter following Portman's vote to confirm Barrett.

The Democrats pushing out the fundraiser have been considered future players for higher office in the state party, which includes Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Aftab Pureval, Franklin County Recorder Danny O'Connor, Portage County Commissioner Kathleen Clyde, and Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein.

Whaley said Portman put the Supreme Court confirmation ahead of things like pandemic assistance. 

"Rob Portman has made his #1 priority to do what Donald Trump wants and make the Supreme Court an extreme court," Whaley said in a video posted on Twitter. 

Pureval, who lost a challenge to U.S. Congressman Steve Chabot (R-Ohio, District 1) in 2018, says the fundraiser is about keeping Portman accountable. 

"We simply cannot let him get away with it. We're all focused on 2020 electing Joe Biden. But it's not enough to defeat Donald Trump. We have to defeat those who stood by him," said Pureval in a video also posted on Twitter. 

Republicans have pointed to polls showing that Barrett's favorable rating tended to be higher than her unfavorable rating.

"Rob was proud to join a majority of the American people in supporting Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation to the Supreme Court," Emily Benavides, spokesperson for Portman, said in a written statement.

Portman supporters defend his record of supporting COVID-related aid. They also point out that Portman has won big in his last two elections with a history of raising a lot of money. 

So far the online fundraiser has raised more than $25,000, according to the Ohio Democratic Party.

Copyright 2020 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.