Health reports rosy in Ohio’s otherwise ugly US Senate race

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — There’s rosy news in the nasty, high-stakes battle for Ohio’s U.S. Senate seat: Both Rob Portman and Ted Strickland are in excellent health.

Doctors’ letters provided to The Associated Press give glowing medical marks to both men.

The AP requested the results of a post-primary physical and, for each, a list of any major health conditions or prescription medications. Neither has any medical problems to speak of.

The two have been engaged in one of the year’s most expensive and closely watched Senate contests — though outside groups on both sides have begun pulling money from the race as Strickland fails to gain traction against Portman’s well-funded effort.

The 60-year-old Portman, the Republican incumbent, is an avid sportsman who kayaks and cycles. He’s on no medications and has no illnesses or chronic conditions.

Strickland, Ohio’s Democratic former governor, takes blood-pressure medicine. His doctor reports the 75-year-old has no illnesses or chronic conditions.

Strickland would be the oldest person elected to a first term in the Senate — though he’d be far from the oldest in the chamber. Thirteen sitting senators are 75 or older. That includes eight who are 80 and above. The median age in the Senate is around 63.

When questioned about his age, Strickland says longevity runs in his family.

The Portman campaign provided a letter from the senator’s longtime doctor, James Hochwalt in Cincinnati, drawn from a July physical.

“To my knowledge, there is nothing in his medical history or current medical status that would interfere with his demanding schedule and commitments of United States Senator,” Hochwalt wrote.

Strickland’s physician, Paul Dusseau in Hilliard, also saw the candidate in July. In addition to an exam and lab work, Dusseau wrote that he reviewed Strickland’s “past medical history, family medical history, daily habits and activities, and health over the past year.”

Dusseau issued what he dubbed an “Excellent Report!”

Green Party Senate candidate Joseph DeMare is also in excellent health. His doctor, Matt Roth of Maumee, says in a letter provided to the AP that the 54-year-old takes no medication and has no ongoing medical concerns.