Portman wins Senate seat


U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) speaks at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, Wednesday, August 29, 2012. (Harry E. Walker/MCT)

Madeline Zupko

Just 47 seconds after the polls closed, Republican candidate Rob Portman won the Ohio election for United States Senator. 

Brenna Gates, an intern on Portman’s campaign, said, “It’s exciting. Like (Portman) said, ‘we started from behind’ and now we’re winning with a 20-point margin—a victory unheard of in Ohio. We’re just really lucky to have someone like Rob representing us in Ohio. He works daily and so do his workers.”

Portman’s interns and campaign staff gathered Tuesday night at The Vault in Columbus for an election night celebration.

Columbus office interns for Portman’s campaign Trey Maynard and Korey Wells said they feel relieved the campaign is over now. 

“It’s a really nice feeling. We’ve been working with the campaign since February of last year, out in nine-degree weather and 90-degree weather knocking on doors,” Maynard said.  

Wells said the results of the election feel “satisfying.”

To aid in the campaigning process, Portman’s team sent students to schools and universities all over Ohio, bringing in over 500 student interns.

Mason Stalder, a field organizer for central Ohio, began helping the Portman campaign last November. Stalder is a student at The Ohio State University and worked full time for the campaign during the summer.

The campaign garnered over 6 million voter contacts by both door-to-door campaigning and phone calls. The team asked contacts what main issues the Ohioan would like to see changed and then used direct advertisement about those issues on their social media.

Since the beginning of his campaign, Portman has fundraised $26 million.

“We refer to him as ‘RoPo’ in the office,” Stalder said. “He’s a really interesting, happy, kind man. We’re all really happy to help.”

Madeline Zupko is a general assignment reporter. Contact her at [email protected]