Ohio senator will speak to North Dakota GOP

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CINCINNATI (AP) -- Ohio Sen. Rob Portman will head to North Dakota this Friday to speak to Republicans there.

The state's GOP says Portman will highlight its annual Holiday Gala, at the Bismarck Civic Center. Tickets are $75 each and $125 a couple.

The first-term senator is a former congressman who has also served as White House budget chief and U.S. trade representative.

North Dakota has been solidly Republican in presidential races. Mitt Romney won the state's three electoral votes while getting 59 percent of the vote against Democratic President Barack Obama.

Portman had been under consideration to be Romney's running mate before Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan got the nod. Portman stayed active in the campaign and helped Romney prepare for his debates with Obama by playing the president in rehearsals.