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Portman for Senate Launches Sportsmen for Portman

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Portman for Senate campaign today announced the launch of the Sportsmen for Portman. The group will help advise Senator Portman on issues impacting the sportsmen’s community and help spread the word about Portman’s strong support of Ohio hunters, anglers, and trappers. In addition to the 16 members of the coalition's leadership council, over 50 Ohio sportsmen and Second Amendment advocates have signed on to help with the group.  

"As a lifelong hunter and fisherman, I’m honored to have the support of so many leading sportsmen from across Ohio," said Rob Portman. "Despite the dysfunction in Washington, I’m proud of the results we have achieved to protect Ohio’s natural resources and to stand up for Ohio sportsmen."

The leadership council consists of former Ohio Division of Wildlife Chief Mike Budzik, Sam and Peg Ballou of Elkhorn Lake Hunt Club, Mike Brooks of Rocky Boots in Nelsonville, former Director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Frances S. Buchholzer, Brad and Ann Dysinger of Thorn Bottom Hunting in Paulding County, owner of the Cardinal Center Campground and Shooting Center Jack Fishburn, former Chief of the Ohio Division of Wildfire Steven Gray, former Ducks Unlimited National Trustee and National Wild Turkey Federation President Gene Goodwin of Urbana, former Ohio Division of Wildlife District 3 Supervisor Jeff Herrick, Leonard Hubert of Licking County, George Klein of the Hill’n Dale Club in Medina, Greene County sportsman and Ohio Outdoors writer Larry Moore, 2014 Charter Board Captain of the year Capt. Dave Spangler, and past president of the Ohio Lake Erie Charter Boat Captains Association Rick Unger.

The Portman for Senate campaign also launched a web ad today from Chairman Mike Budzik and leadership council member Brad Dysinger highlighting Senator Portman’s record of standing up for sportsmen in Ohio and fighting to protect Ohio’s natural resources. You may watch that ad by clicking below.


"Rob Portman is a true sportsmen and is someone Ohio hunters, anglers, and trappers can trust to stand up for us in the U.S. Senate," said Mike Budzik.

"While he has pretended to be a hunter, Ted Strickland is no friend of Ohio sportsmen or gun owners," said Brad Dysinger. "Strickland turned his back on Ohio sportsmen when he worked for a liberal special interest group advocating for additional gun laws to penalize law abiding citizens."

"Portman is a leader on stopping invasive species from entering Lake Erie, and he has worked to address the harmful algal blooms that threaten the economy and drinking water in northern Ohio," said Rick Unger.

Sportsmen for Portman Leadership Council Members
 
Mike Budzik - Chairman
Mike Budzik began his career with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife in January 1975 as a conservation aide. He also held positions as Area Manager of the Delaware Wildlife Area, District Private Lands Biologist in Southeast Ohio, and Assistant Administrator of Wildlife Management and Research.  Budzik rose through the ranks and retired as Chief of the Ohio Division of Wildlife in 2003.  Budzik has been honored by the Ohio House of Representatives and the Ohio Senate for his "Distinguished Career in Wildlife." He was also awarded Ohio's Man of the Year by the Woods and Water Conservation Association, in addition to Conservationist of the Year by the League of Ohio Sportsman. He also received a Distinguished Alumni Award from Hocking College and the Distinguished Alumnus Award by the Ohio Association of Community Colleges.  In 2011, Budzik served as the Hocking College commencement speaker. He also served on the executive committee of the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, in addition to serving as Chairman of the Wildlife Resource Policy Committee.
 
Peg and Sam Ballou
Peg and Sam Ballou moved to Ohio in 1984 to run Elkhorn Lake Hunt Club and Elkhorn Farms and Hatchery, a nationally known hunting ground and farm, which hatches 500,000 pheasant chicks, and raises around 80,000 annually.  Before moving to Ohio, Sam, a life-long sportsman, fought for the first hunting preserve in Vermont where he grew up. Sam and Peg have been actively involved in Ducks Unlimited, National Wild Turkey Federation, Ruffed Grouse Society, and Friends of the National Riffle Association. Peg and Sam are avid pilots, and reside in Bucyrus, Ohio, with their six children – all life members of the NRA, active in outdoor sports and their family business.
 
Mike Brooks
Mike Brooks graduated with a degree in pattern engineering and shoe design from Ars Sutoria in Milan, Italy. In June of 1975, he returned to Nelsonville, Ohio to work for his family's shoe business Wm. Brooks Shoe Company where he became the Manger of Production Development and then the National Sales Manager. In the 1970s, he re-branded the shoe company as the outdoor-inspired Rocky Boot Company. Since that time, the company has undergone changes and brand acquisitions and is now known as Rocky Brands, Inc. He retired as the Chief Executive Officer of Rocky Brands, Inc. and currently serves on the executive board of the American Apparel and Footwear Association.  Brooks was awarded Manufacturing Entrepreneur of the Year for Central Ohio and one of Footwear News' Power 50. He is also the recipient of the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio, Child of Appalachia award. Brooks was one of six finalists for the Ohio Association of Community College (OACC) Maureen C. Grady Award for Special Achievement.  He serves on the board of the Two/Ten Foundation and the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation of Nelsonville.
 
Frances S. Buchholzer
Frances S. Buchholzer, (Akron), is the former Director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and served as a Commissioner of Metro Parks Serving Summit County for over 19 years.   She has served as a board member The Trust for Public Land since 2000.
 
Brad and Ann Dysinger 
Brad Dysinger is an honorary inductee of the National Trapshooting Hall of Fame and life-long sportsman and nationally known trap shooter. Brad and his wife, Ann, a wildlife artist, have a record of conservation. When they resided in Maryland, they compiled two years of data on Sika Deer and pressured Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources to place a limit and season on the Sika Deer.  Since 1974, Brad has competed in countless competitions and has been awarded 60 career Grand American trophies and 30 trophies from Spring, Southern, Midwestern and Great Lakes Satellite Grand tournaments.   Brad and Ann reside in Grover Hill, Ohio, where they operate Thorn Bottom Hunting. 
 
Jack Fishburn
Jack Fishburn is the owner of many local businesses in Morrow County, including Fishburn Services, Producing and Farms; Marengo, Mt. Gilead and Mansfield Auto Parts Stores; Ole Farmstead Inn, Suds ‘n Sun, Sparkle ‘n Shine, and the Cardinal Center Campground and Shooting Center.  Jack and his Karen were inducted into the Trap Shooting Hall of Fame by the Ohio State Trapshooting Association. The Fishburn’s have also strived to help the development of numerous local businesses, including a local doctor’s and dentist’s office and an industrial park. They have recently been instrumental in the location and construction of the new Morrow County Hospital South Campus Facility.
 
Gene Goodwin
Not too many individuals have given so much to the sports of hunting and shooting as Gene Goodwin. Gene has and continues to serve as a volunteer with several conservation and shooting organizations during the last 45 years. He held numerous positions in Ducks Unlimited, The National Wild Turkey Federation and was a founding member of the Ohio Sporting Clays Association.  Gene lives in Urbana and continues to provide invaluable insight to many of as who are involved in trying to ensure the future of the shooting sports. Early on, he began working with Ducks Unlimited as local dinner chairman then moved up to District Chairman, State Sponsor Chairman, Ohio State Chairman and finally a National Trustee in 2003. During that same year he became a member of the Ducks Unlimited National Shooting Committee where he still lends a hand on their shoots around the country.
 
Steven Gray
Steve Gray is a former Chief of the Ohio Division of Wildfire.   He is an active volunteer with a number of conservation groups, including Ducks Unlimited and Ohio Conservation Federation.
 
Jeff Herrick
Jeff Herrick is a lifelong sportsman who served for 32 years with the Ohio Division of Wildlife, including 14 years as District supervisor for the District 3 in Northeast Ohio.   District 3’s 19-county area is not only rich in wildlife possibilities, but encompasses 43 percent of Ohio's population.  Leading the Ohio Division of Wildlife’s office in Akron, Herrick was the longest-standing district manager until his retirement in 2010.   Herrick currently resides in Columbiana County and is involved with the Northeast Ohio Sportsmen and Conservation Clubs.  Herrick continues to be an active advocate for sportsmen’s’ interests across Ohio.
 
Leonard Hubert
Leonard Hubert is the President and CEO of L. Hubert & Associates, LLC, a professional consulting firm specializing in public policy, community / public relations and government affairs.  Leonard is a lifelong sportsmen and is active in numerous sportsmen efforts across Ohio.   Leonard’s policy development and experience includes, but is not limited to, financial life skills, opinion and issue advocacy campaigns involving major state and federal legislative issues.  Leonard has served in a variety of public leadership positions and presently serves as Chairperson for the Ohio Civil Rights Commission. He is active in civic affairs of his local community by serving as a board member for the Granville Township Board of Zoning Appeals, Licking County Tax Incentive Review Council, Ohio Cancer Research Associates, Mental Health & Recovery for Licking and Knox counties, Granville Township Open Space and Granville Education Foundation.  Leonard is an alumnus of Alabama A&M University where he earned Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees.
 
George Klein
George Klein is a member Ohio Wildlife Council and long-time owner of Klein News Company in Cleveland.  A former board member for the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, he serves on the Natural Areas Committee, which oversees 38 preserves in northeast Ohio.  Klein is a former chairman of the Winous Point Marsh Conservancy on Sandusky Bay, focusing on research projects and internships with colleges and universities.  He is on the board of the Trust for Public Land and helped convert the former Richfield Coliseum into a meadow gifted to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.  Klein's 650-member Hill'n Dale Club in Medina offers fishing, hunting and shooting, and has one of the top sporting clays courses in the country.
 
Larry S. Moore
Larry S. Moore is a life-long hunter, shooter, and award winning outdoors writer. A featured columnist for the Xenia Gazette, Fairborn News Herald, Beavercreek News Current, and freelance writer for Ohio Outdoor News, Moore is the recipient of six writing awards, most recently the 2008 Best Newspaper Article from the Outdoor Writers of Ohio.  Moore is the recipient of several recognitions for his active involvement in the outdoors. In 2005, Moore was honored with the Patriot Award by the US Sportsmen Alliance for protecting sportsmen dollars and budget in Ohio. He was the 2007 Ohio Wildlife Federation’s Hunter Education Instructor of the Year for his instrumental role in the creation of the Instructor Training Academy, and over 20 years of instructing at the League of Ohio Coonskin Cap Brigade Camp for youth.  Moore is an Endowment member of the NRA and member since 1971. In addition, he is involved with the Greene County Fish and Game Association, The League of Ohio Sportsmen, Ohio Gun Collectors Association, Ohio Division of Wildlife, Buckeye Firearms Association, US Sportsmen Alliance.
 
Dave Spangler
Captain Dave Spangler has been fishing Lake Erie since 1980 and has been chartering for the past 18 years. He is USCG licensed, an Ohio licensed guide and insured for your safety. Captain Dave lives on the lake shore and is on the water fishing the "hot spots" to keep him tuned in to the best fishing action. He will give you a great opportunity for that unforgettable hit from a trophy walleye or to catch a mess of tasty perch.  Capt. Dave was the 2014 Charter Boat Captain of the Year. 
 
Rick Unger
Rick Unger is a past president of the Ohio Lake Erie Charter Boat Captains Association.  Rick is President of Chief’s Charters.  He is a licensed Ohio guide and a Coast Guard operator of uninspected vessels on the Great Lakes and inland waters. In 2002, Captain Rick received a license upgrade to Master of Inspected Vessels.  Before retiring in 2003, Captain Rick served for over 26 years as a patrolman, detective, SWAT member, juvenile officer, lieutenant, captain, and chief (for 11 years) on the Cuyahoga Heights Police Department.

Background
Rob Portman is a lifelong hunter and fisherman.  In the past year, Portman has gone duck hunting on the marshes on Lake Erie, pheasant hunting in Paulding County in northwest Ohio, turkey hunting in Ashtabula County in Northeast Ohio, dove hunting in southeast Ohio, and walleye fishing on Lake Erie.

Portman is a member of the Senate Sportsmen’s Caucus and is the Vice-Chair of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force.  Portman has an “A” rating from the NRA and was awarded the 2014 Conservation Legislator of the Year Award by the League of Ohio Sportsmen for his work on conservation efforts in the United States Senate. 

In the U.S. Senate, Portman has authored legislation that has been signed into law to help address the Harmful Algal Blooms that plague Lake Erie and our other bodies of water in Ohio. Portman saw the algal blooms firsthand this summer while fishing on Lake Erie.  His legislation prioritizes freshwater lakes - like Lake Erie and Grand Lake St. Mary - for the first time. Portman has also authored legislation that has been signed into law that directed the EPA to set the level of allowable microcystins that are safe in drinking water.

Portman is also a co-sponsor of the Sportsmen’s Act.  This legislation includes a number of bipartisan measures to help sportsmen in Ohio and around the country.  It would open additional public lands for hunters, anglers, and trappers, exclude ammunition and fishing tackle from the Toxic Substances Control Act, ensure that decisions about tackle are left to state fish and game agencies and the USFWS, clarify a 2007 law to allow bows to be transported across national park lands, and enact several other bipartisan measures to help preserve and promote our sportsmen heritage.

Portman has also taken a lead in Congress on conservation efforts, including leading the charge to pass energy efficiency legislation to help reduce government waste, lower energy bills for working families, and help create hundreds of thousands of new jobs.
During his time in Congress, Portman authored the Tropical Forest Conservation Act, which has saved over 68 million acres of tropical forests around the globe.  That’s equivalent to taking 17 million cars off the road each year, without risking a single job in Ohio or anywhere else in America.

Portman’s opponent, Ted Strickland is no friend of Ohio sportsmen or gun owners.  During Strickland’s 2006 and 2010 gubernatorial bids, Strickland disclosed that he was not a gun owner. In 2006, he said, “I’m not going to pretend I’m a current outdoorsman.”  So it’s no surprise that Strickland has not had a hunting or fishing license in Ohio since he left the governor’s office in 2010.  And after being fired by the people of Ohio in 2010, Strickland’s true colors came out when he turned his back on Second Amendment advocates and worked for the liberal Center for American Progress in Washington, DC to lobby for additional gun control laws that would hurt law abiding sportsmen and hunters. Strickland can dress up in camouflage for a photo shoot, but he can’t camouflage his failed record of being bad for Ohio jobs, bad for Ohio gun owners, and bad for Ohio sportsmen. 

Since May 1st, the campaign has contacted over 800,000 voters through its door-to-door and phone programs. In addition to Sportsmen for Portman, the Portman campaign has launched Women for Portman, Students for Portman, the African American Leadership Council, and the Veterans Leadership Council.