Teamsters endorse Portman

The Ohio Conference of Teamsters Monday announced that it was endorsing Sen. Rob Portman in his bid for re-election.

The union represents 50,000 members acrossthe state. It’s the second big union endorsement Portman, who faces former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, has received: The United Mine Workers has also endorsed him.

Pat Darrow, president of the Ohio Conference of Teamsters, said the union was “proud” to endorse Portman.

“When it comes to hardworking Ohio families, Rob Portman has our back,” he said. “Rob is fighting for middle-class jobs and higher wages for the people of Ohio, and he has fought with us to protect our pensions.”

The union endorsed Strickland in both his 2006 and 2010 bids for governor, and has traditionally backed Democrats over Republicans in recent years. But they’re reportedly pleased with Portman for his work on a bill that would bar Teamsters from having their pensions cut without having any say in it.

Strickland spokesman David Bergstein said that Strickland has received the support of unions including the United Auto Workers, the AFL-CIO and AFSCME. He said Portman supports – and in fact co-sponsored a right to work law and opposes raising the minimum wage.

“The contrast in this election couldn’t be more clear: Ted is on the side of Ohioans who actually work for a living, while Senator Portman is pushing the agenda of his rich and powerful friends at the expense of working families,” he said.

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