U.S. Senate primaries preview

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

Blythe Alspaugh


Kelli Prather, a resident of  Cincinnati, Ohio, is a member of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), a supporter of the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati, the Alzheimer’s Association, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Awareness Center, and is the Chair of the Cincinnati Black Teen Ambassadors. Prather has worked in the field of occupational therapy for years, forming companies in order to merge the clinical and business sides of healthcare. Prather’s platform is built on education reforms that include student loan forgiveness and more affordable education, equal access to affordable housing, upholding the Affordable Care Act and addressing health disparities in minority communities, firmer gun control laws, and more employment opportunities for minority businesses.

(Source: http://www.kelliforussenate2016.com/)

Hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, P.G. Sittenfeld is currently serving his second term on the Cincinnati City Council. Sittenfeld’s platform for the senate race focuses on rebuilding the middle class through a livable minimum wage, creating educational opportunity by cutting interest rates on student loans dramatically, ending gun violence by enacting a series of proposals for gun reform, bringing an urban policy agenda to the senate in order to reform public policy in urban areas, addressing climate change with support for the Clean Power Plan, increasing social security benefits for senior citizens, advocating for LGBT equality and supporting a Supreme Court nominee who upholds Roe v. Wade.

(Source: http://www.pgsittenfeld.com/)

A former Congressman and Governor of Ohio, Ted Strickland is running on the Democratic ticket for the U.S. Senate seat in Ohio. Strickland’s platform is built on restoring economic fairness by increasing the minimum wage, protecting and strengthening wages, fighting for equal pay among men and women, and support of collective bargaining. In addition to this, Strickland hopes to create a safe environment in schools and communities by reducing gun violence, protect national security by eradicating ISIS, create more benefits for veterans such as free higher education and tax reductions and strengthen social security and Medicare by opposing privatized social security reforms. He intends to continue advocating for healthcare reforms that include improvements to the Affordable Care Act and fair access to healthcare for women, creating renewable energy reforms, overturn Citizens United and fight for increased campaign finance transparency, and create more affordable higher education opportunities by expanding and protecting the Pell Grant and Perkins Loan Program, while ultimately working toward a debt-free higher education.

(Source: http://www.tedstrickland.com/)


Republican candidate Don Elijah Eckhart is from Galloway, Ohio. His top three priorities for his campaign platform are protecting life and religious freedom by presenting legislation to do so; protecting and expanding the middle class through tax reforms that eliminate special tax breaks and support of the Fair Tax, which would replace income tax; and declaring independence of foreign oil, as he believes it has limited policy options.

(Source: http://wkbn.com/2016/02/03/election-march-2016-don-elijah-eckhart/ (couldn’t find an official campaign website)).

Hailing from Cincinnati, Rob Portman is the incumbent. Portman’s platform promotes pro-job policies through simplified and reformed tax codes, improve retraining programs, a repeal of the Affordable Care Act for lower-cost health care reforms and a competitive tax code. He also hopes to reduce government spending by enacting the Balanced Budget Amendment, which would prevent states from spending more than their income allows. In addition to this, Portman promotes energy independence, is in defense of the Second Amendment and plans to reduce gun violence through better enforcement of current gun laws, enhancement of school security and proper care for mental illness. Portman is also pro-life and supports pro-life legislation.

(Source: http://www.robportman.com/)

Blythe Alspaugh is a city reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].