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Ganley to Challenge Portman for Open Ohio Senate Seat

As I noted previously, and as Politics Extra notes today, it looks like Rob Portman will have competition in the GOP primary to replace George Voinovich:

Former congressman and Bush administration Rob Portman has a boatload of money and the support of the Ohio Republican Party establishment in his 2010 bid for the U.S. Senate. He even has the endorsement of the man he wants to replace, retiring Sen. George Voinovich.

But it looks as if he won’t get a free ride in the GOP primary next spring. Word is that Tom Ganley, a car dealer from northeast Ohio, will announce his candidacy Wednesday in Cleveland.

The Columbus dispatch has more, including quotes:

Cleveland-area auto dealer Tom Ganley will announce Wednesday his Republican candidacy for the U.S. Senate, setting up a potentially expensive 2010 primary election against former U.S. Rep. Rob Portman of Cincinnati.

Although he has never served in elected office, Ganley, 65, said today that he thinks he can win the seat to be vacated at the end of next year by retiring Republican Sen. George V. Voinovich.

“I have a great passion to see this through to a conclusion, to a victory,” said Ganley, who will kick off his campaign with a speech in his hometown of Brecksville.

A millionaire, Ganley indicated that he is willing to spend a considerable chunk of his fortune to win the GOP nomination against Portman.

“The campaign will be well-funded,” Ganley said. “It will be very well-funded.”

By virtue of his auto dealerships’ heavy advertising, Ganley said he has “tremendous name recognition in northern Ohio.”

I plan to attend the announcement/press conference tomorrow so be sure to check back tomorrow afternoon for the details (including video, I hope).

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