Rob Portman isn’t hedging his bets anymore — he’s all in for Donald Trump.
For months, Portman tried to distance himself from Trump, even proclaiming that instead of attending the convention in Cleveland he would hold his own event next door. But now Portman isn’t just endorsing He Who Must Not Be Named
, his campaign is teaming up with Ohio Republicans to help get out the vote for the presumptive nominee.
Lacking leadership in swing state Ohio, Trump reached out to the Ohio Republican Party this month for help hiring one. Ohio Republican Chair Matt Borges previously had cautioned that Trump could hurt down-ticket candidates like Portman.
Still, the party came through, finding Robert Paduchik to help Trump in Ohio. A veteran campaign manager, Paduchik delivered Ohio twice for George W. Bush and once for Portman in 2010. Paduchik knows Ohio and its Republicans, having worked on Attorney General Mike Dewine’s successful U.S. Senate campaign 22 years ago then for Gov. Bob Taft.
Asked if Trump has some catching up to Clinton in Ohio, the Westerville resident told the Columbus Dispatch: “I think we’re in a good place. I’ve done this before and I don’t know that we’re getting a late start. We’ve got plenty of time to get the job [done] in Ohio for Mr. Trump.”
Corry Bliss, Portman’s campaign manager, said he has a “good relationship” with Paduchik, who could benefit from the ground game Portman has mounted in the past 18 months.
“We have a program that will help all Republicans … from the top of the ticket on down,” Bliss said, counting 10 Portman campaign offices spread across Ohio, 2.4 million voters they’ve contacted so far and thousands of unpaid volunteers who blanket the state for the Senate candidate when he asks them to.
Portman and his fellow down ballot Republicans are fully embracing the Party of Trump.
Published: Jun 27, 2016