Democratic challenger and former Gov. Ted Strickland (L) and Republican incumbent Rob Portman (Photo credit: Karen Kasler/Statehouse News Bureau)

Portman, Strickland Agree to Debates

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The two major party candidates vying to represent Ohio in the US Senate have agreed to a series of three debates over the course of one week in October.

Sen. Rob Portman, the Republican incumbent, and former Gov. Ted Strickland, the Democratic challenger, will meet for three hour long debates. The announced locations and dates will be Youngstown on October 14, Columbus on October 17 and at the City Club of Cleveland on October 20.

It’s notable that they won’t debate in either Strickland’s former Congressional district in southeast Ohio nor in Portman’s hometown of Cincinnati – and the debate series also skips northwest Ohio, home to many voters likely concerned about manufacturing and trade.

Recent polls have shown the early lead Strickland enjoyed has evaporated, with Portman leading by an average of nearly 6 points.