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Published: Wednesday, 10/13/2010

Ohio candidates spar over jobs in U.S. Senate debate


COLUMBUS, Ohio — The two leading candidates in the race for Ohio's open U.S. Senate seat are renewing their attacks over taking blame for the state's jobs woes.

Democrat Lee Fisher says trade policies backed by his opponent, Republican Rob Portman, led to 50,000 Ohio jobs sent overseas.

Portman says Ohio has lost 400,000 jobs since Fisher became lieutenant governor and it's time for a change in leadership.

Their debate Tuesday night in Columbus follows debates last week in Toledo and Cleveland.

Ohio's unemployment rate was 10.1 percent in August, above the national average of 9.6 percent.

Fisher is Ohio's lieutenant governor and former director of the state's jobs development agency.

Portman is a former congressman and budget director and trade ambassador in the Bush administration.

Recent polls give Portman a comfortable lead.

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