A top Koch network group is poised to bomb Ohio Democratic Senate candidate Ted Strickland with a seven-figure attack ad campaign.


In its first major intervention of the 2016 cycle, Freedom Partners Action Fund, a super-PAC that spearheads the conservative donor network helmed by billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch, is launching a $2 million TV and digital ad buy in the Ohio Senate race.

The ad, which goes up Thursday, features a former DHL employee who says he blames the loss of his job, in part, on the tax policies instituted by Strickland when he was governor of Ohio.

"When Mr. Strickland raised taxes, $1.5 billion, it was almost like, you know, there was no justification for it," the man, whom the ad refers to as "Joel," says.

Strickland's Republican opponent is incumbent Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanMcConnell gets GOP wake-up call Biden shows little progress with Abraham Accords on first anniversary The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - After high drama, Senate lifts debt limit MORE, in what will be one of the hardest fought and most expensive Senate races in the country this year.

A source at Freedom Partners said the group will be arguing that under Strickland's leadership, jobs didn’t "necessarily disappear or leave the country, but instead moved to other neighboring states with better economic environments."

“Washington power brokers and wealthy, shadowy special interests are spending millions to prop up Sen. Rob Portman because he’s pushing their agenda at the expense of Ohio’s working families,” Strickland campaign spokesman David Bergstein said in a statement. “Sen. Portman’s unabashed support for unfair trade deals has cost Ohio hundreds of thousands of jobs and made it easier for the company in this very ad to outsource their jobs overseas.”

--This report was updated at 3:37 p.m.