Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) targeted likely Democratic opponent Ted Strickland’s gubernatorial and congressional record in a new Web ad.

The Republican senator’s campaign released a new spot on Thursday that seeks to highlight job loss in Ohio during Strickland’s tenure as governor.


“We know Ted Strickland failed as our governor,” the ad’s narrator says. “Ohio lost over 350,000 jobs and was ranked 48th in job creation.”

The spot also blasted Strickland’s 12 years serving as a congressman and his vote attendance in the lower chamber.

“Strickland spent more than a decade in Congress and sponsored zero bills that became law,” the ad’s narrator said. “Ted Strickland didn’t even bother to show up for work, at one point skipping 40 percent of his votes.”

The ad went on to knock Strickland over working for liberal think tank Center for American Progress after serving as governor. The spot cuts to a clip for Strickland calling his time working at the group “his dream job.”

“Ted Strickland — a record of failure everywhere,” the ad continues, “Don’t let Retread Ted take Ohio backwards again.”

Strickland campaign spokesman David Bergstein pushed back on the ad in a statement.

“Now Portman is throwing out false claims that have been called ‘political hyperbole’ to try and distract from his own record that represents the worst of Washington: opposing fair wages and overtime pay for workers, undermining retirement security for seniors, making it harder for students to get an affordable college education and supporting unfair trade deals that send thousands of Ohio jobs to places like China.”

If Strickland wins the Democratic nomination, he’ll go on to face Portman in what is considered one of the most competitive races of this cycle. Portman outraised Strickland two-to-one in the fourth fundraising quarter of 2015.

Despite Portman’s huge cash advantage, late 2015 polling in Ohio showed a tight race, with Strickland ahead by a razor-thin margin.

Before Strickland can look toward the general election, he’ll face Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld in the Democratic primary.

Strickland, who’s considered the establishment favorite, has significantly outpaced Sittenfeld in fundraising and has been endorsed by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and high-profile Ohio lawmakers.

But Sittenfeld has been hammering Strickland recently over his commitment to gun control and has panned the former governor for brushing off primary debates.

Senate Democrats and Republicans are in a heated battle over the majority this cycle.

Democrats need to net five Senate seats in 2016 to regain a majority in the upper chamber — unless they retain the White House. Then a net gain of four seats would give them the majority, with the vice president breaking a 50-50 tie.

Democrats are considered to have an advantage in that they are only defending 10 Senate seats, while the GOP is defending 24 seats.