GOP Tries to Recruit Author J.D. Vance for Senate

“Some Republican activists and donors worried about the prospects of their party’s Senate candidate in Ohio are kicking around an outside-the-box alternative: Hillbilly Elegy author J.D. Vance,” BuzzFeed News reports.

“The recruiting overtures reflect unease with the early GOP frontrunner, state Treasurer Josh Mandel, who is seeking a rematch with Democratic incumbent Sherrod Brown.”

Democrats Pull Back In Ohio Senate Race

“The Democratic Party’s national Senate campaign arm has canceled more than a week of television ads that were set to run next month in the key battleground of Ohio, where former governor Ted Strickland (D) has struggled to gain traction against incumbent Sen. Rob Portman (R),” the Washington Post reports.

“The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee had reserved advertising time on Ohio TV stations starting Sept. 13. Now, according to political ad trackers in both parties, the national Democrats won’t launch that campaign until Sept. 22.”

Strickland Apologizes for Scalia Remarks

Former Ohio Gov. and Senate hopeful Ted Strickland (D) apologized for saying that Justice Antonin Scalia’s death “happened at a good time,” since it came just before the Supreme Court ruled on a case that could have been a blow to unions, Morning Consult reports.

Said Strickland: “I mean, the death of Scalia saved labor from a terrible decision. And I don’t wish anyone ill, but it happened at a good time because once that decision had been made, it would have been tough to reverse it.”

Portman Comes Out Against Trade Deal

Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), a former U.S trade ambassador, announced that he “opposes a sweeping 12-nation Pacific Rim trade agreement, dealing a setback to a deal that is seen as a key part of President Obama’s economic legacy,” the Washington Post reports.

“The Ohio Republican is facing a difficult re-election campaign against Ted Strickland, an anti-trade former Democratic governor, in a state that has seen a steep decline in manufacturing as a result of companies moving operations overseas. The announcement is a significant but not fatal blow to the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, which is protected by fast-track rules that ensure it cannot be filibustered in the Senate.”

Landrieu May Help Some GOP Senators with Re-Election

Former Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) plans to spend some of the nearly $150,000 left in her campaign fund to help former Senate colleagues run for re-election, the Shreveport Times reports.

Landrieu said she also will contribute some leftover campaign money to Republicans: “I’m not opposed to helping one or two of my Republican friends that have helped Louisiana — if they ask. They haven’t asked yet.”

She specifically named Rob Portman of Ohio, who is up for re-election next year, and Susan Collins of Maine, who is up in 2020.

Strickland Expected to Launch Senate Bid

Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland (D) is likely to launch a long-rumored U.S. Senate bid this week, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

“Strickland is expected to issue a morning statement, and all indications are that he will confirm his intentions to challenge Republican incumbent Rob Portman. It’s a decision that could pit two Washington veterans against each other in a nationally watched race that could have ramifications on which party controls Congress.”