Republican Rob Portman is defending his seat in the 2016 Ohio Senatorial race. He won the 2010 election with 57 percent of the vote, according to The New York Times. Portman served in many different political positions before becoming a U.S. Senator.
He began his congressional career by being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1993, representing the 2nd District in Southern Ohio for a total of six terms. In the House, Portman dedicated his time to welfare reform, increasing retirement savings and the expansion of drug prevention programs, according to Portman’s Senate website.
In 2005, Portman left the House to serve as the U.S. Trade Representative under former President George W. Bush for one year. This position required him to advise the president on all trade relations, according to the United States Trade Representative website. During his term, American exports increased and he challenged actors who committed international trade law violations, according to Portman’s Senate website.
As a Senator of Ohio, he focuses on jobs and the economy, healthcare, deficit reduction, energy, veterans and defense and environmental development. The website of the U.S. Congress revealed some of the legislation that Portman sponsored that goes along with his mission. He has developed the “Senate Republican Jobs for America Plan” to increase growth in the private sector. He introduced the SMART Act to speed up the rate that Medicare beneficiaries are reimbursed. Other pieces of legislation include the Adoptive Family Relief Act, the Combat Human Trafficking Act of 2015 and a bill to provide for the preparation of career and technical education teachers.
He recently launched the Students for Portman Coalition in over 20 colleges in Ohio, according to Portman’s website. This coalition communicates Portman’s mission to ensure that every student can find a good job after graduation.
Portman believes that expanding background checks would help make sure that guns are only in the hands of law-abiding citizens, according to cleveland.com.
“I think that everyone agrees that there is a far better way to deal with mental health records,” Portman said. ”Strengthening background checks by adding mental health records, is something I’ve supported. And I continue to think we can do a much better job of getting that data into the background checks.”
He is well-known for being the first national-level Republican to support legal recognition of same-sex marriage. In 2013, he attracted national media attention after he changed his position on same-sex marriage because his son is gay, according to Politico.
His greatest accomplishments range from easily winning his 2010 election, being considered for vice president under Mitt Romney and being one of only four Senate Republicans to support gay marriage, according to The National Journal.
His record reveals that he has sponsored 45 bills and one bill has made it into law. He has co-sponsored 147 bills and one has made it into law.
Editor’s Note: Information from Rob Portman’s Senate website, Politico and cleveland.com was used in this report.