Angered over Portman gun vote, Hagan announces 2016 challenge

YOUNGSTOWN

Angry that Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman opposed a proposal today to expand background checks for firearm purchaes, state Rep. Robert F. Hagan, a Democrat from Youngstown, said he will challenge the incumbent in 2016.

“I am serious about running,” said Hagan, D-58th. “He’s ignored [a large majority] of the public who support background checks and I’m disappointed with his lack of leadership.”

Hagan added that he plans to be the “hair shirt” of Portman’s campaign, explaining the term means “a shirt that makes him itch, makes him uncomfortable.”

It wasn’t until Portman’s vote today that Hagan, who is term-limited in the Ohio House at the end of 2014, decided to run.

In a prepared statement earlier today, Portman said he didn’t support the proposal because he didn’t “believe it would be effective” in preventing shootings such as in Newtown, Conn.

Ohio Republican Party Chairman Robert Bennett said Hagan is “more than welcome to” challenge Portman. Bennett said he doesn’t always support Portman’s decisions, “but if somebody agrees with you 80 percent, and he’s above that, he’s doing a good job.”

For the complete story, read Thursday’s Vindicator or Vindy.com

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