CINCINNATI (AP) - U.S. Sen. Rob Portman joined more than 2,000 people cruising down the Ohio River in kayaks and canoes during the annual Cincinnati event known as Paddlefest.
The freshman senator from Ohio is an expert kayaker and has regularly attended the event in his home area.
The river was closed to barge and powerboat traffic in the area Saturday morning as the paddlers set off from Coney Island Park for the 8.2-mile trip to Cincinnati Public Landing.
Portman is considered a possible running mate for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Media outlets report that the Republican senator shook hands and talked to the public at Coney Island before the races.
This year, the paddling trip occurred simultaneously with a new bicycling event, dubbed Cincy Peddlefest.