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Government and Politics

State Rep. Hagan says he'll be U.S. Sen. Portman's 'hair shirt'
Hagan says Portman's vote on the gun bill has earned him a challenger; Portman says he put principle ahead of politics

Amy Cooknick
U.S. Sen. Rob Portman's vote against Manchin-Toomey has earned him a Democratic challenger.
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In The Region:

State Rep. Bob Hagan of Youngstown says he’s running for the U.S. Senate – three years before the election.

Hagan announced via Twitter that he plans to oppose Republican Sen. Rob Portman in 2016.

Hagan says he was “outraged” that Portman voted against a proposal Wednesday that would have expanded background checks for gun sales. He Tweeted, “The NRA Owns [Portman]… I will be his hair shirt for the next three years.”

Hagan says he is confident that people will vote for him in 2016 because his views more closely match public opinion.

HAGAN: Portman's hair shirt

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“Some have asked, ‘Can I raise the money?’ I can probably raise more hell than I can raise money and I intend to do just that," Hagan says. "I’m going to make sure that people understand that I’m very serious about going to Washington and not being moved around and controlled by the lobbyists. Certainly the NRA would be the last organization that I’d be concerned about.”

Portman responds that his vote -- including his support of other amendments to the gun bill -- was one of principle.

PORTMAN: Principle over politics
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“I’m going to keep looking for solutions to gun violence, and I believe the legislation that I supported did that. I’m also going to support law-abiding Ohioans constitutional rights.”

In a conference call with reporters this morning, Portman was asked if he met with the victims of gun violence. Here's his response. 

PORTMAN: Met with Newtown families
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Portman says he supports amendments that would increase enforcement against felons and straw purchasers who buy guns and would tighten state reporting on mental illness.

Hagan says he plans to advance his platform over the next three years by talking to the press to raise awareness and by following Portman around the state.

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