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Republican

Sen. Rob Portman (R)

Rob Portman Contact
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Email: n/a
DC Contact Information

Phone: 202-224-3353

Address: 448 RSOB, DC 20510

State Office Contact Information

Phone: (513) 684-3265

Address: 312 Walnut Street, Cincinnati OH 45202

Cleveland OH

Phone: (216) 522-7095

Fax: (216) 522-7097

Address: 1240 East Ninth Street, Cleveland OH 44199

Columbus OH

Phone: (614) 469-6774

Fax: (614) 469-7419

Address: 37 West Broad Street, Columbus OH 43215

Toledo OH

Phone: (419) 259-3895

Fax: (419) 259-3899

Address: 420 Madison Avenue, Toledo OH 43604

Rob Portman Staff
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Bolton, Charlie
Legislative Correspondent
Johnson, Sarah
Legislative Assistant
Riedl, Brian
Legislative Assistant
Johnson, Sarah
Legislative Assistant
Kittredge, Steve
Legislative Assistant
Lyons, Derek
General Counsel
Toy, Eric
Legislative Assistant
Bolton, Charlie
Legislative Correspondent
Riedl, Brian
Legislative Assistant
Harrington, Megan
Legislative Assistant
Bombach, Brent
Legislative Assistant
Brace, Tyler
Legislative Aide
Brace, Tyler
Legislative Aide
Ernst, Allen
Legislative Correspondent
Harrington, Megan
Legislative Assistant
Bombach, Brent
Legislative Assistant
Brace, Tyler
Legislative Aide
Brace, Tyler
Legislative Aide
Ernst, Allen
Legislative Correspondent
Harrington, Megan
Legislative Assistant
Bolton, Charlie
Legislative Correspondent
Johnson, Sarah
Legislative Assistant
Riedl, Brian
Legislative Assistant
Kittredge, Steve
Legislative Assistant
Kittredge, Steve
Legislative Assistant
Toy, Eric
Legislative Assistant
Toy, Eric
Legislative Assistant
Johnson, Sarah
Legislative Assistant
Kittredge, Steve
Legislative Assistant
Bombach, Brent
Legislative Assistant
Brace, Tyler
Legislative Aide
Harrington, Megan
Legislative Assistant
Lyons, Derek
General Counsel
Lyons, Derek
General Counsel
Couts, Brad
Legislative Correspondent
Johnson, Sarah
Legislative Assistant
Bombach, Brent
Legislative Assistant
Brace, Tyler
Legislative Aide
Bolton, Charlie
Legislative Correspondent
Harrington, Megan
Legislative Assistant
Toy, Eric
Legislative Assistant
Harrington, Megan
Legislative Assistant
Harrington, Megan
Legislative Assistant
Toy, Eric
Legislative Assistant
Harrington, Megan
Legislative Assistant
Kittredge, Steve
Legislative Assistant
Bombach, Brent
Legislative Assistant
Brace, Tyler
Legislative Aide
Bombach, Brent
Legislative Assistant
Brace, Tyler
Legislative Aide
Brace, Tyler
Legislative Aide
Ernst, Allen
Legislative Correspondent
Harrington, Megan
Legislative Assistant
Harrington, Megan
Legislative Assistant
Brace, Tyler
Legislative Aide
Ernst, Allen
Legislative Correspondent
Harrington, Megan
Legislative Assistant
Johnson, Sarah
Legislative Assistant
Johnson, Sarah
Legislative Assistant
Couts, Brad
Legislative Correspondent
Johnson, Sarah
Legislative Assistant
Bombach, Brent
Legislative Assistant
Brace, Tyler
Legislative Aide
Kittredge, Steve
Legislative Assistant
Kittredge, Steve
Legislative Assistant
Harrington, Megan
Legislative Assistant
Harrington, Megan
Legislative Assistant
Kittredge, Steve
Legislative Assistant
Toy, Eric
Legislative Assistant
Brace, Tyler
Legislative Aide
Ernst, Allen
Legislative Correspondent
Harrington, Megan
Legislative Assistant
Toy, Eric
Legislative Assistant
Bolton, Charlie
Legislative Correspondent
Johnson, Sarah
Legislative Assistant
Riedl, Brian
Legislative Assistant
Bolton, Charlie
Legislative Correspondent
Riedl, Brian
Legislative Assistant
Toy, Eric
Legislative Assistant
Bombach, Brent
Legislative Assistant
Brace, Tyler
Legislative Aide
Toy, Eric
Legislative Assistant
Ernst, Allen
Legislative Correspondent
Toy, Eric
Legislative Assistant
Kittredge, Steve
Legislative Assistant
Bombach, Brent
Legislative Assistant
Brace, Tyler
Legislative Aide
Harrington, Megan
Legislative Assistant
Harrington, Megan
Legislative Assistant
Bolton, Charlie
Legislative Correspondent
Bombach, Brent
Legislative Assistant
Brace, Tyler
Legislative Aide
Braggs, Robert
Outreach; Staff Assistant
Conant, Caitlin
Communications Director
Couts, Brad
Legislative Correspondent
Dargusch, Will
Assistant to the Senator
Dustman, Michael
Director of Constituent Services
Ernst, Allen
Legislative Correspondent
Fahrbach, Wesley
Northwest District Representative
Geiger, Teri
State Director
Harrington, Megan
Legislative Assistant
Johnson, Sarah
Legislative Assistant
Kittredge, Steve
Legislative Assistant
Knox, Jason
Assistant to the State Director
Laug, Connie
Southwest Ohio District Director
Lyons, Derek
General Counsel
Paz, Josh
Staff Assistant
Prest, Joshua
Northeast District Representative
Riedl, Brian
Legislative Assistant
Savercool, Meghan
Assistant to the Chief of Staff; Deputy Scheduler
Shelton, Todd
Southeastern Ohio District Representative
Thiessen, Pam
Legislative Director
Toy, Eric
Legislative Assistant
White, Stephen
Central District Director
Dargusch, Will
Assistant to the Senator
Knox, Jason
Assistant to the State Director
Savercool, Meghan
Assistant to the Chief of Staff; Deputy Scheduler
Conant, Caitlin
Communications Director
Dustman, Michael
Director of Constituent Services
Geiger, Teri
State Director
Laug, Connie
Southwest Ohio District Director
White, Stephen
Central District Director
Bombach, Brent
Legislative Assistant
Harrington, Megan
Legislative Assistant
Johnson, Sarah
Legislative Assistant
Kittredge, Steve
Legislative Assistant
Riedl, Brian
Legislative Assistant
Toy, Eric
Legislative Assistant
Bolton, Charlie
Legislative Correspondent
Couts, Brad
Legislative Correspondent
Ernst, Allen
Legislative Correspondent
Thiessen, Pam
Legislative Director
Braggs, Robert
Outreach; Staff Assistant
Fahrbach, Wesley
Northwest District Representative
Prest, Joshua
Northeast District Representative
Shelton, Todd
Southeastern Ohio District Representative
Savercool, Meghan
Assistant to the Chief of Staff; Deputy Scheduler
Braggs, Robert
Outreach; Staff Assistant
Paz, Josh
Staff Assistant
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Rob Portman Committees
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Rob Portman Biography
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  • Elected: 2010, term expires 2016, 1st term.
  • State: Ohio
  • Born: Dec. 19, 1955, Cincinnati
  • Home: Terrace Park
  • Education:

    Dartmouth Col., B.A. 1979; U. of MI, J.D. 1984.

  • Professional Career:

    U.S. trade rep., 2005-06; dir., Office of Management and Budget, 2006-07; practicing atty., 2007-10.

  • Political Career:

    U.S. House, 1993-2005.

  • Ethnicity: White/Caucasian
  • Religion:

    Methodist

  • Family: Married (Jane); 3 children

Republican Rob Portman is Ohio’s junior senator, elected in 2010 to succeed the retiring George Voinovich, also a Republican. Portman is a consummate Washington insider—he has served in the House as well as in both Bush White Houses, and has drawn comparisons to ex-President George H.W. Bush for his wonkish center-right views and an even-keeled modesty. He boosted his public profile with his 2013 decision to support same-sex marriage, and was in the mix as a possible presidential candidate in 2016 before taking himself out of the running. Read More

Republican Rob Portman is Ohio’s junior senator, elected in 2010 to succeed the retiring George Voinovich, also a Republican. Portman is a consummate Washington insider—he has served in the House as well as in both Bush White Houses, and has drawn comparisons to ex-President George H.W. Bush for his wonkish center-right views and an even-keeled modesty. He boosted his public profile with his 2013 decision to support same-sex marriage, and was in the mix as a possible presidential candidate in 2016 before taking himself out of the running.

Portman grew up in Cincinnati, where his father in 1960 started a forklift company that eventually employed 300 people. His mother’s family owns the Golden Lamb, the oldest inn in Ohio, and his ancestors were Quaker abolitionists active in the Underground Railroad. Portman worked summers at the forklift company, sweeping floors and grinding old paint off trucks. While at Dartmouth College, Portman hung out with a crowd nicknamed the “Granola Gang” that was known for its love of the outdoors; many of its members later went to work for the Peace Corps and in the renewable energy field. He took a semester off to work for Cincinnati area Rep. Willis Gradison, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee. After graduating, he worked for Republican George H.W. Bush’s 1980 presidential campaign as part of the advance team setting up events—the beginning of a long association with the Bush family. He earned a law degree at the University of Michigan and then worked for law firms in Washington and Cincinnati.

After Bush was elected president in 1988, Portman went to the White House as a presidential counsel and then was promoted to head the Office of Legislative Affairs. In January 1993, when Gradison resigned his 2nd District House seat, Portman ran to fill the vacancy. He had help from former first lady Barbara Bush, who made a radio ad for him, and he won the seven-candidate primary with 36% of the vote to 30% for former Rep. Bob McEwen. The special election was anticlimactic; Portman won with 70% of the vote and was easily reelected from 1994 to 2004.

In the House, Portman got on the Ways and Means and Budget committees and became known for his fiscal conservatism and his ability to work across the aisle. He co-chaired the National Commission on Restructuring the Internal Revenue Service and won broad support for his repeal of the 3% excise tax on telephone service. He worked with Democrats, notably his current Senate colleague, Ben Cardin of Maryland (then a House member), on issues including pensions, welfare reform, land conservation, and drug prevention. He helped revise 401(k) rules to make it easier for small businesses to offer pension plans, but he got nowhere with a 2002 bill to repeal the alternative minimum tax. He also sponsored the bill to create a National Underground Railroad Museum in Cincinnati.

In 2005, President George W. Bush appointed Portman as the U.S. trade representative, in charge of negotiating free trade agreements and representing U.S. interests in global talks on reducing trade barriers. A year later, Bush appointed him director of the Office of Management and Budget, a position that requires immersion in the arcana of federal spending. Bush nicknamed him “The Mule,” in tribute to his persistence. Portman succeeded in pushing the budget more toward balance, although he later told The Hill newspaper that he was frustrated he couldn’t do more. “I wanted to offer a balanced budget over five years, and a lot of people didn’t,” he said. He left the agency in 2007 and returned to the Cincinnati area, where he joined a law firm, taught a class at the Ohio State University’s John Glenn School of Public Affairs, and coached his daughter’s soccer team.

Just after Voinovich announced in January 2009 that he would not run for a third term, Portman got into the contest for the seat, saying his focus would be on job creation. The timing of his candidacy did not seem propitious. He had virtually no name recognition beyond the Cincinnati media market, and Democratic President Barack Obama had just come to office having carried Ohio. Soon, two Democratic officials known statewide joined the race: Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher and Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner. Polls showed Portman trailing both. Unfazed, he campaigned around the state in blue jeans and a windbreaker, put out a six-point jobs program, and cheerfully opposed the Democrats’ $787 billion stimulus bill and their health care overhaul. Portman raised serious money, $16.5 million, and he also profited from the fractious Democratic primary in May 2010, which Fisher won, 56%-44%.

In the fall campaign, Fisher derided Portman’s long friendship with the Bush family, telling The Columbus Dispatch, “Rob Portman had his hands on the steering wheel as George W. Bush drove us off the cliff and into the deepest economic ditch in most of our lives.” But Fisher had little money—much of the $6.4 million he raised was spent on the primary—and his position as Gov. Ted Strickland’s “jobs czar” in 2007 and 2008 proved a liability rather than an asset. Portman asserted that Ohio lost 400,000 jobs while he held the post. Portman called for a one-year suspension of the payroll tax, and he fended off criticism of his work as trade representative by saying he would make enforcement of trade laws a high priority. He was not a particular favorite of tea party activists, but they didn’t campaign against him either.

By October, the race was off everyone’s list of competitive contests. Fisher was far behind in the polls and out of money. On Election Day, Portman won 57%-39%. He carried 82 of 88 counties and ran even in usually Democratic northeast Ohio.

In the Senate, Portman’s vast government experience and demeanor quickly earned him respect from both parties. "Rob is smart and incredibly likable, personable, not mean, not angry," political analyst Stuart Rothenberg told Time. Portman also is regularly described as a "grownup," a description he self-deprecatingly waved off. "When your hair starts to turn more gray, as mine as has been, people are going to call you a grownup," he quipped.

His voting record has been conservative, but not extremely so. He made a splash in March 2013 when he reversed his opposition to same-sex marriage after he said his 21-year-old son, Will, came out as gay. Portman has worked with Democrats—he teamed with Montana’s Jon Tester on a 2012 bill to end the practice of government shutdowns, and he closely cooperated with Missouri’s Claire McCaskill on a Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee inquiry into the Obama administration’s public relations spending. He and McCaskill also worked on legislation aimed at streamling the process for federal permits. And he has partnered for years with Arkansas Democrat Mark Pryor on a bill to reform the federal regulatory process that drew support from Republicans as well as some conservative Democrats.

He unsuccessfully tried to amend the surface transportation reauthorization bill in 2012 to allow states to keep all of the federal gasoline tax money they collect, instead of sending it to Washington and later getting some returned. He later was one of 13 senators in July 2014 to oppose a short-term transportation bill "because it kicks the tough decisions down the road."

His highest-profile legislative work in the 113th Congress (2014-15) was with New Hampshire Democrat Jeanne Shaheen on an energy-efficiency bill that was shelved in 2014 after it became entangled in a fight over whether Republicans could offer amendments to it. He also called for indexing the federal minimum wage to inflation and said his paty should show greater empathy for nonviolent drug offenders.

In Washingtonian’s anonymous 2012 survey of Capitol Hill staffers, Portman was tied for second (behind Florida’s Marco Rubio) with South Dakota Sen. John Thune as the senator most likely to someday become president. He also tied with Thune and two others as the lawmaker “least likely to star in a scandal.” He was regularly mentioned in 2012 as one of GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s top prospective choices for a running mate.

He and Romney got along well, and he threw his Ohio organization behind the ex-Massachusetts governor before the crucial March 6 Republican primary in Ohio, which Romney won by just over 10,000 votes. Later, Portman took on the role of President Obama in Romney’s debate preparation sessions, having earlier portrayed other Democrats in similar mock debates. But Portman’s close association with the unpopular George W. Bush was probably a mark against him, along with the perception that his personality is bland. People who know him say the latter characterization is misguided; he has a reputation as a prankster, and his outdoors exploits include smuggling a kayak into China in the 1980s to paddle the Yangtze River.

Portman also raised more money for the National Republican Senatorial Committee than any other GOP freshman, and he briefly toyed with becoming the NRSC’s chairman before bowing to Kansas’ Jerry Moran. He settled for being one of two vice chairs.

Portman became the subject of some 2016 speculation after his party decided to hold its convention in Cleveland. “I’m not particularly eager to do it myself, and having been involved in six presidential campaigns, I know what it’s like,” he told The Washington Post. “But if nobody running is able to win and willing to address these issues, then I might have a change of heart.” In August, he made the requisite toe-in-the water trip to New Hampshire. But in December, he cited the new incoming GOP majority in the Senate as a key factor in his decision not to run. "It's just not possible to be involved with policy issues" and simultaneously gear up for a national campaign, he told reporters.

Show Less
Rob Portman Election Results
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2010 General
Rob Portman (R)
Votes: 2,168,742
Percent: 56.85%
Spent: $16,540,629
Lee Fisher
Votes: 1,503,297
Percent: 39.4%
Spent: $6,391,470
2010 Primary
Rob Portman (R)
Votes: 667,369
Percent: 100.0%
Prior Winning Percentages
House: 2004 (72%), 2002 (74%), 2000 (74%), 1998 (76%), 1996 (72%), 1994 (77%), 1993 special (70%)
Rob Portman Votes and Bills
Back to top NJ Vote Ratings

National Journal’s rating system is an objective method of analyzing voting. The liberal score means that the lawmaker’s votes were more liberal than that percentage of his colleagues’ votes. The conservative score means his votes were more conservative than that percentage of his colleagues’ votes. The composite score is an average of a lawmaker’s six issue-based scores. See all NJ Voting

More Liberal
More Conservative
2013 2012 2011
Economic 29 (L) : 69 (C) 16 (L) : 83 (C) 17 (L) : 82 (C)
Social 32 (L) : 67 (C) 32 (L) : 67 (C) 29 (L) : 68 (C)
Foreign 24 (L) : 73 (C) 35 (L) : 62 (C) 41 (L) : 58 (C)
Composite 29.3 (L) : 70.7 (C) 28.5 (L) : 71.5 (C) 29.8 (L) : 70.2 (C)
Interest Group Ratings

The vote ratings by 10 special interest groups provide insight into a lawmaker’s general ideology and the degree to which he or she agrees with the group’s point of view. Two organizations provide just one combined rating for 2011 and 2012, the two sessions of the 112th Congress. They are the ACLU and the ITIC. About the interest groups.

20112012
FRC7171
LCV021
CFG8079
ITIC-88
NTU8377
20112012
COC100-
ACLU-25
ACU7576
ADA1510
AFSCME0-
Key Senate Votes

The key votes show how a member of Congress voted on the major bills of the year. N indicates a "no" vote; Y a "yes" vote. If a member voted "present" or was absent, the bill caption is not shown. For a complete description of the bills included in key votes, see the Almanac's Guide to Usage.

    • End fiscal cliff
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Block faith exemptions
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Approve gas pipeline
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Approve farm bill
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Let cyber bill proceed
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Block Gitmo transfers
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Raise debt limit
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Pass balanced budget amendment
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Stop EPA climate regulations
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Proceed to Cordray vote
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Require talking filibuster
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Limit Fannie/Freddie
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
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The Almanac is a members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics. Comprehensive online profiles include biographical and political summaries of elected officials, campaign expenditures, voting records, interest-group ratings, and congressional staff look-ups. In-depth overviews of each state and house district are included as well, along with demographic data, analysis of voting trends, and political histories.
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