Ohio: Portman v. Strickland


Senator Rob Portman (R)

Background: Member of U.S. Senate since 2010; Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, 1993-2005

In his time in the U.S. Senate, Portman has championed a number of startup-friendly policies. Portman formed the Senate Career and Technical Education Caucus to support efforts to ensure all students have access to high-quality, rigorous career and technical education and wrote a letter in 2014 calling for patent reform. Portman also opposed PIPA, voted “yes” on the America Invents Act, and supported legislation in the House in 2000 to increase the number of available H-1B visas (though he did oppose the comprehensive immigration reform bill that passed the Senate in 2013 due to the bill’s enforcement provisions). He has a mixed record on data security and privacy issues: he is a cosponsor of the Warner-McCaul Digital Security Commission Act, which would create a Commission around encryption, but opposed the USA Freedom Act. On broadband-related policies, Portman has made general statements in support of rural broadband but opposes net neutrality.

Governor Ted Strickland (D)

Background: Ohio Governor from 2007-2011; Member of U.S. House of Representatives, 1993-1995, 1997-2007

As governor of Ohio, Strickland led efforts to expand broadband access across the state. He has also supported education efforts that give students the “critical skills necessary for the 21st century workplace” during his time as Governor of Ohio. While he served in Congress for ten years, his term ended in 2007, before many of the key pieces of legislation in this analysis were considered. The limited record he does have is somewhat mixed: in 2005, Strickland voted against making the PATRIOT Act permanent, but in 1998, he voted against a bill that would have nearly doubled the number of available H1-B visas.