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      Fisher, Portman trade ideas and punches in senate debate

      Rob Portman (R) and Lee Fisher (D) / The Plain Dealer

      Monday evening the two major candidates for Ohio's open senate seat went head-to-head in a televised debate.

      For Democrat Lee Fisher, Monday night's debate was a chance to make up ground on Rob Portman, a former Republican congressman who served in two Cabinet-level positions in the Bush administration.

      Fisher and Portman answered questions and traded punches.

      In fact, the gloves came off in the opening statements.

      The questions in Monday's debate focused on jobs, exports, regulations, taxes, jobs, healthcare, war, asian carp and jobs.

      Only Fisher took time to talk to NBC24 after the event: he took the opportunity to fight back against the accusation he has lost Ohio jobs.

      Portman says the state has lost nearly 400,000 jobs while Fisher served as Ohio's economic director.

      "If there was ever a politically dishonest, disingenuous argument in this campaign it is the one you are hearing from Rob Portman and John Kasich and I think it's because frankly they haven't been paying attention to what's going on in Ohio--they're creatures of Washington," said Fisher.

      Right now, most polls show Portman leading by double-didgets.

      The two will debate twice more before the election.