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Portman Hires Campaign Manager

Former Rep. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) has tapped Bob Paduchik to be his Senate campaign manager. Sen. George Voinovich (R) announced in January that he is stepping down in 2010, setting up what is expected to be a blockbuster open-seat race next cycle.

Paduchik is best known for his work as campaign manager for President George W. Bush’s Ohio victory in 2004 — a feat that many credit with delivering the race for the Republican because of increased turnout in Portman’s home base of Southern Ohio. Paduchik currently works for DCI Group in Washington, D.C.

“Rob Portman is the only guy who could get me to come out of retirement and do a statewide campaign again,” Paduchik said in a phone interview Tuesday. “I admire his ability to get things done, to come across the aisle and provide real leadership — not rhetorical leadership.”

National and local support coalesced quickly around Portman, who announced his candidacy about 48 hours after Voinovich said he was stepping down. State Auditor Mary Taylor (R) is also considering a bid.

Several top-tier Ohio Democrats are considering the race, including Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher, Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner and Reps. Tim Ryan and Rep. Zack Space.

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