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Sen. Rob Portman re-elected in Ohio

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, right, arrives with his wife arrive at the The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum on Tuesday, July 19, 2016, in Cleveland, during the second day of the Republican convention. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON (AP/TheBlaze) Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman has defeated former Gov. Ted Strickland in a race that once looked like one of the Democrats' best bets to flip a Senate seat.

Portman, a former U.S. trade representative and budget director, was first elected to the Senate in 2010. He ran a strong campaign, branding Strickland early on as "Retread Ted" and tying him to Ohio's sinking economy during Strickland's governorship, which coincided with the national recession.

Portman kept Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump at a distance leading up to Tuesday's election. Portman didn't campaign with Trump and withdrew his endorsement when a 2005 tape of Trump making lewd comments about kissing and groping women surfaced last month.

President Barack Obama, while campaigning in Ohio, frequently urged voters to pull the lever for Strickland, who he said would help a potential President Hillary Clinton carry out her agenda in the upper chamber.

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