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Ohio: Free Trade Stays a Hot Issue in the Midwest

The campaign for Rep. Zack Space (D) is going on the air today with a television ad targeting Republican challenger Bob Gibbs for supporting free-trade agreements that Space says are detrimental to the state’s economy.

It’s an issue that the campaign has focused on for months, especially since a July debate when Gibbs, former head of the Ohio Farm Bureau, said he was not in favor of repealing the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The ad features a clip from that debate of Gibbs saying, “I’m a free trader,” and seeks to contrast that with work that Space is doing in Congress. He is co-sponsoring a bill that would move the United States toward withdrawing from NAFTA.

“These so-called free-trade agreements have devastated our manufacturing base in Ohio,” Space says in the ad. “I am opposed to these NAFTA-type deals, period.”

A Space spokesman called it a “significant buy” on network and cable stations in each of the five media markets that cover the expansive 18th district: Cleveland, Columbus, Wheeling/Steubenville, Zanesville and Charleston/Huntington.

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