Rob Portman Picks Up Another Union Endorsement

Sen. Rob Portman
Sen. Rob Portman / AP
August 3, 2016

Sen. Rob Portman (R., Ohio) has picked up another union endorsement in his reelection bid against former Democratic governor Ted Strickland.

Portman’s campaign announced on Wednesday that the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 18 has joined the list of unions supporting the Republican's campaign that once backed Strickland. IUOE Local 18 represents over 15,000 workers in the Buckeye State.

The Portman campaign's statement mentioned that this was the third labor union to give its support to Portman in ten days. IUOE Local 18, which backed Strickland when he ran for governor in 2006, is the fourth union to endorse Portman after backing the Democrat in prior races.

"On behalf of over 15,000 Ohio workers, we are proud to endorse Rob Portman and look forward to working with him to improve Ohio’s infrastructure and keep our state moving forward," Richard Dalton, the IUOE Local 18 business manager, said in a statement. "Rob has proven time and again that he will do what it takes to protect Ohio families and fight for middle-class jobs and increased wages."

"No doubt, he is the leader Ohio needs in the U.S. Senate," Dalton added.

The defection of several unions that normally back Democrats could be a big hit to Strickland's campaign, as unions constitute a major voting block for Democrats in the swing state of Ohio.

Portman has already received the support of the United Mine Workers of America, the Ohio Conference of Teamsters, and the Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio. While Strickland has received the endorsements of other unions, he has criticized those that have endorsed Portman.