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« Obama To Campaign For Corzine July 16 | Blog Home Page | Toomey Announces 3rd Cong. Endorsement »

A Dent In GOP Ohio Plans

One of the reasons Republicans have been hopeful about their chances of holding on to the Voinovich Senate seat in Ohio is that while Democrats are heading for a potentially bruising primary between Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher and Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, former Rep. Rob Portman (R) was unopposed and could stockpile money for the general election.

Not anymore, apparently:

Cleveland-area auto dealer Tom Ganley will announce his Republican candidacy for the U.S. Senate today, setting up a potentially expensive 2010 primary election against former U.S. Rep. Rob Portman of Cincinnati.

...

A millionaire, Ganley indicated that he is willing to spend a considerable chunk of his fortune to win the GOP nomination against Portman.

"The campaign will be well-funded," Ganley said. "It will be very well-funded."

By virtue of his auto dealerships' heavy advertising, Ganley said he has "tremendous name recognition in northern Ohio."

Portman's camp may not be too nervous about the end result as it faces a political neophyte. Also, while Portman does not quite have high name-ID statewide, he did represent the Cincinnati area in Congress -- an area that also is rich with GOP primary votes. Cleveland -- not so much.

But having to spend that warchest to avoid an upset certainly puts a dent in their plans. The Ohio GOP chairman, Kevin DeWine, is quoted in the Dispatch piece as saying: "With all due respect to Tom, I don't believe a seat in the United States Senate is an entry-level position, and I don't think it's something you can buy."