Ohio race shows how NRA flexes its political muscle

WASHINGTON (AP) — When former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland ran for the U.S. Senate, the National Rifle Association unleashed a wave of negative ads that portrayed its one-time ally as interested only in money and power.

The anti-Strickland campaign in Ohio two years ago is a window into how the influential gun rights group wields its political muscle. That clout will be on display heading into the 2018 midterm elections as gun control advocates demand swift action following the Feb. 14 massacre that killed 17 people at a high school in Florida.

Strickland, a Democrat, lost decisively to Republican Sen. Rob Portman. Strickland recalls the NRA’s effort to undermine the public trust that he’d spent years building as “painful.”

He says of the NRA, “They were out to get me.”