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Portman's "Countdown to Victory" RV Tour Off to a Great Start

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Today, Rob begins day six of his "Countdown to Victory" RV Tour with events in Findlay and Springfield. The RV tour is certainly off to an impressive start having already made stops in Columbus, Brecksville, Toledo, Akron, Dayton, Canton, West Chester, Athens, Terrace Park, Athens, Marietta, Uhrichsville, Carrollton, and Akron. The stops have included meetings with members of our campaign's seven coalitions, union members who have endorsed Rob, and thousands of volunteers who - just like all major Ohio newspapers - agree Ohio can't afford to go back to the days of Ted Strickland's Ohio. In total, Rob's “Countdown to Victory” RV Tour will make 80 stops across 35 counties and cover over 4,000 miles.

Here is a review of the past five days:

Saturday, October 22nd:
The Portman for Senate Campaign kicked off the tour with an extremely successful Super Saturday day of grassroots action, which resulted in 161,492 targeted voter contacts through the campaign's door-to-door and phone programs with the help of over 2,000 volunteers. Since May of last year, the campaign has contacted over 5 million targeted voters. Rob and Jane traveled the state on Saturday making stops in Columbus, Brecksville, Toledo, Akron, Dayton, Canton, West Chester, Athens, and Terrace Park. You may click HERE or on the video below to watch a recap of the Portman Campaign's Super Saturday day of grassroots action.

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Here is what they had to say:
Toledo Blade: U.S. Sen. Rob Portman stopped in Toledo today as part of his “Countdown to Victory” RV tour. Portman’s blue RV has become a familiar site at his Sylvania Avenue campaign office... The Portman “Countdown to Victory” tour that started today is planned to make 80 stops in 35 counties and cover 4,000 miles, according to the campaign. Stops will include 12 college campuses.

Toledo NBC 24: Senator Rob Portman, the incumbent republican in Ohio, credits his volunteers for his now 15.8 point lead in national polls...On Saturday, Portman was in Toledo as part of his 'countdown to victory RV tour," which includes 80 stops throughout the state.

Columbus 10TV: The incumbent and Republican candidate Senator Rob Portman rallied his volunteers early Saturday morning at his Columbus call center. Portman said some 2,500 people across the state went door to door or picked up the phone to spread his message.

Toledo WTOL 11: Ohio Republican U.S. Senator Rob Portman brought his re-election campaign back to Toledo on Saturday. Portman’s campaign called it the start of his 'Countdown to Victory RV Tour.' Between now and Election day, Portman says he plans to make 80 stops across 35 counties and cover four thousand miles.

Associated Press: Republican Sen. Rob Portman - who is running for re-election in Ohio - attends 'Super Saturday' events to kick-off his campaign's RV tour.


Photos From the Saturday:
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Sunday, October 23rd:
Rob joined Reverend Peterson Mingo at Christ Temple Full Gospel Baptist Church in Cincinnati. As a Steering Committee member of the Portman for Senate Campaign's African American Leadership Council, Rev. Mingo has been an instrumental part of Rob's campaign.

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Monday, October 24th:
Rob met with his Veterans Leadership Council in Columbus. Launched in August of 2015, this diverse group of veterans from across Ohio has been advising the Portman Campaign on issues impacting veterans and helping to spread the word on Rob’s policy initiatives to support America’s best and brightest. Chaired by Air Force Veteran and Vietnam POW Colonel Thomas Moe, the Veterans Leadership Council is an active component of the Portman for Senate Campaign.

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Tuesday, October 25th:
Rob stopped in Athens to visit with some of his interns and volunteers and to make calls to Ohio voters. With less than two weeks until Election Day, the energy and excitement behind the Portman Campaign can be felt all across the state of Ohio. Rob also stopped in Marietta to tour Pioneer Pipe and visit with workers.

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Here is what they had to say:
Marietta Times: Portman was in town as part of his 35-county campaign tour in Ohio. He made a stop at Pioneer Pipe in Marietta Tuesday afternoon, taking a tour of the facility.

Athens News: U.S. Sen. Rob Portman took his RV tour across Ohio on Tuesday, making a pit stop at his campaign office on North Court Street in Athens to rally the troops... Portman said that his Athens office had made 104,000 voter contacts throughout the campaign cycle so far... He also said that legislation he’s worked on to help coal miners and teamsters has helped him win endorsements from both groups. The other factor, Portman said, is his campaign’s volunteers.

Athens Post: Portman, who is running for re-election, was in town as part of his "Countdown to Victory" RV tour throughout Ohio, which launched over the weekend and has included stops in Columbus, Toledo, Akron and Dayton. About 20 people were present in the second floor campaign office at 80 N. Court St., including Athens County Republican Party Chair Pete Couladis, Athens County Auditor Jill Thompson and Ohio House of Representatives candidate Jay Edwards... According to data from the campaign, volunteers at Athens office have made just short of 67,000 calls and have knocked on 36,367 doors. Portman called the Athens campaign office “small but mighty.”

Wednesday, October 26th:
Rob stopped in Uhrichsville to meet with coal workers at Rosebud Tusky Coal Mine. As a reminder, in June, the United Mine Workers of America endorsed Rob for re-election to the U.S. Senate.

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Here is what they had to say:
Times Reporter: Rob Portman touts importance of coal in visit to Tuscarawas County mine

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman stopped at the Tusky Mine on Wednesday to meet with coal miners as part of his 35-county "Countdown to Victory" RV Tour.

"I love doing these tours," said Portman, who is running for reelection this year. "It gives us a chance to see what's actually happening on the ground, how the policies in Washington are effecting jobs. In this case, we've got a coal mine that's been shut down because of the war on coal."

The mine, located just east of Dennison on Pleasant Valley Road, is operated by the Rosebud Coal Co. According to Gary Alkire, Rosebud's manager of permitting in Ohio, the mine has been idled since last November.

At one time, the mine employed between 60 and 80 people.

The preparation plant is still in operation, but only on a limited basis. "We can only process the coal that we can sell," Alkire said. "Right now, the way things are with these power plants closing in Ohio, our markets are severely reduced, so we're having trouble selling the coal that we're capable of making and producing here."

Portman said he has introduced legislation in the Senate to burn coal more cleanly.

"I'd like to use our Ohio coal and our Ohio power plants, and give the power plants a tax incentive to burn it more cleanly," he said.

During his tour of the Tusky Mine, the senator walked the grounds and went through the coal preparation plant.

Among those accompanying Portman was Jerry Murphy of New Athens, who works at Rosebud's Vail Mine near Freeport. Murphy comes from a family of miners. His father, brother, brother-in-law and two uncles also are in the profession. Murphy has also appeared in campaign ads for the senator.

Portman said it's important for someone in his position to see the impact that regulations written in Washington have on families and communities.

Speaking of Murphy, he said, "This is a family tradition, and they love it. They want to mine coal."

Portman said he believes that coal has a future in Ohio.

"We still have a lot of coal-fired plants. Sixty-eight percent of us get our electricity from coal. Ohio is a coal state. We produce it, we move it, we burn it, we use it for electricity. In the past five and a half years, during this administration, the price of electricity for consumers has gone up 25 percent in Ohio. Federal regulations have resulted in the shutdown of 14 power plants already."

The industry has been hit hard by the low price of coal, as well as competition from the natural gas industry. Construction has begun on a gas-fired power plant in Carrollton, and plans are in the works for another in Harrison County.

Portman said the availability of natural gas has had an impact on coal.

"That's part of the issue, no question about it, but there's room for both," he said. "Natural gas can be used in so many other ways, for home heating and fuel, that you're not going to look to coal for."

He noted that an energy bill passed by the Senate would allow the export of natural gas, which would help increase energy production in eastern Ohio.

Portman also took a swipe at his opponent in the Senate race, former Gov. Ted Strickland. He said Strickland used to be pro-coal but now supports the regulations that coal company officials are worried about.

Christian Palich, president of the Ohio Coal Association, applauded Portman's visit.

"That Sen. Portman came out here to hear first-hand what President Obama's war on coal has done to eastern and southeastern Ohio shows he's the friend of coal in the race for the United States Senate," Palich said. "His opponent endorsed Hillary Clinton, who said she's going to put coal miners like Jerry (Murphy) out of business. That's unacceptable, so we really appreciate the senator coming out here and hearing first-hand what the issues of our companies are and going back to Washington and fighting for us. And that's what he's done in his first term and we know he's going to do in his second."

Portman's "Countdown to Victory" tour will make 80 stops across the state, including 12 colleges, and will cover more than 4,000 miles.

Following the mine visit, Rob joined Tonda DaRe and Holly's Song of Hope for a lunch event in Carrollton to discuss the heroin and prescription drug epidemic that has hurt too many families. The group also discussed Rob's Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), which tackles the epidemic head on by expanding education and prevention efforts, helping law enforcement reverse overdoses to save lives, and expanding treatment and recovery programs. Rob began this legislative effort in 2014 and CARA was singed into law earlier this year. Tonda played an instrumental role in helping the Senate pass Rob’s bipartisan legislation. On January 27, 2016, after an invitation from Rob, Tonda shared her story at a Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing. The Portman for Senate Campaign's TV ad “Holly” features Tonda whose daughter Holly tragically died at the age of 21 from a heroin overdose on October 12, 2012. Tonda tells her powerful story and highlights Rob’s CARA and his continued fight to combat the drug epidemic gripping Ohio families like hers.

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Finally, before heading to game two of the World Series last night, Rob met with College Republicans at the University of Akron. These students have been an instrumental part of the Students for Portman Coalition, which is organized on more than 30 college and university campuses and over 200 high schools. The coalition continues to be an important part of the campaign moving forward, including yesterday, when hundreds of students supporting Rob distributed 115,000 flyers on over 30 campuses contrasting Rob's fight to help students with Ted's record of failure for Ohio students. We're excited to work with these students to ensure that Rob’s message and record of delivering results for families continues to reach every corner of Ohio.

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