Portman should continue his fight in D.C.

The Democrat Party establishment in Ohio continues to hand-pick candidates for key offices, and they continue to make bad decisions in that regard. The latest case in point was the slating of “retread” Ted Strickland to run for the U.S. Senate this year.

Strickland’s time in the Ohio governor’s office was without distinction. The Democrat bosses should have at least passed the torch to a younger, fresher face if they had any hope of unseating incumbent Sen. Rob Portman.

Since 2010, when Ohioans by an overwhelming margin elected Portman to the U.S. Senate, Portman has served the Buckeye State well.

On Nov. 8, voters should keep Portman in the Senate because we need both an advocate and a defender in Washington. We will need that more than ever if Hillary Clinton is elected president, as seems possible.

Portman has been a staunch champion of working men and women. He has fought against trade deals that sell out Ohio workers. He has done all in his power to enact federal programs to help those who have lost their jobs already, often as a result of government action or lack of it.

He has battled President Barack Obama’s war against coal and affordable electricity. Portman wants to safeguard the thousands of Ohioans whose jobs depend directly or indirectly on mining. But he also realizes that if more coal-fired power plants are idled, which Clinton has in mind, millions of Ohioans could be forced to pay higher electric bills.

Strickland was refused a second term as governor after he wrecked the state budget, leaving his successor to close an $8 billion gap in it. And Strickland, though claiming to be a friend to “the little guy,” supports Clinton wholeheartedly. His reaction to the war on coal was to sign on with a liberal group of Washington lobbyists who promoted President Obama’s anti-coal agenda.

On many fronts, ranging from gun control to taxes, foreign policy to honesty in government, Americans will need defenders in the Senate if Clinton is elected president.

Sen. Portman has acknowledged and aided the resurgence of the Mahoning Valley. In doing so, he has gained a lot of respect from its citizens in both political parties.  This newspaper endorses Portman and urges our fellow Ohioans to re-elect Rob Portman.