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Portman Re-Election Campaign Names Panel Of Black Advisers

U.S. Senate

In the wake of police shootings and a deadly church attack, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman has assembled a panel of black community leaders - including supporters of the Democratic president - to advise his re-election campaign on urban issues.

Portman for Senate planned an announcement of its African American Leadership Council Thursday. It comes as the Cincinnati Republican lags in polls against his likely Democratic challenger, former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, and Democrats eye his seat as vulnerable.

The council's steering committee includes former Ohio Lt. Gov. Jennette Bradley, Bishop Timothy Clarke of Columbus, Revs. Damon Lynch Jr. of Cincinnati and Michael Noble of Newark and Columbus attorney Larry James, a past fundraiser for President Barack Obama's campaigns.

The panel will engage in policy, fundraising and outreach.