Ohio among states pro-gay rights group targeting in 2018 election

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown and state Treasurer Josh Mandel
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U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown and state Treasurer Josh Mandel

Ohio is among the states that The Human Rights Campaign, one of the nation’s leading gay rights groups, is targeting in a $26 million effort tied to next year’s election.

Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, and Nevada are the other states being targeted.

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In Ohio, the group will focus support on Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown’s campaign for re-election.

Brown is expected to run again against state Treasurer Josh Mandel.

HRC president Chad Griffin said the effort, which will include hiring at least 20 additional political staffers, aims to go “beyond resistance” — drawing from the phrase used by opponents of President Donald Trump’s administration. He said the group will focus on fighting legislation curbing gay rights and backing “pro-equality candidates and initiatives.”

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“Resistance is really important — all of the marches and the rallies, that’s all important,” Griffin said. “But it’s also important to not only sustain that, but to take that to the next level.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.