Sen. Rob Portman announced Monday he would not be running for a third term in the U.S. Senate in 2022.
The Cincinnati Republican said he intends to use his final two years in public office to “get a lot done,” noting a hopefulness of working with the Biden administration on the COVID-19 pandemic response and other legislative priorities. This would cap off a decades-long career in public service for Portman, 65, who previously served as U.S. Representative as well as budget chief and U.S. trade representative under President George W. Bush.
Portman’s announcement opens the door for a Republican primary in 2022 and for Democrats to face another non-incumbent instead of a well-financed incumbent who won his 2010 and 2016 Senate elections comfortably.
“I feel fortunate to have been entrusted by the people of Ohio to represent them in the US Senate,” Portman said in a statement, calling it “an honor” to have served.
Various Ohio political figures issued statements Monday in support of Portman. Gov. Mike DeWine called the senator a “key partner” during the pandemic response and Secretary of State Frank LaRose described him as being “what our founders hoped for in a public servant when they wrote our Constitution — a statesman.”
Sen. Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat who has served alongside Portman since 2011, noted the two have not always agreed with each other on policy but have “always been able to put our differences aside to do what’s best for Ohio.”
A more detailed report from the Ohio Capital Journal on Sen. Portman’s announcement is forthcoming.
Tyler Buchanan is an award-winning journalist who has covered Ohio politics and government for the past decade. A Bellevue native and graduate of Bowling Green State University, he most recently spent 6 1/2 years as a reporter and editor of The Athens Messenger and Vinton-Jackson Courier newspapers. He is a member of the BG News Alumni Society Board and was a 2019 fellow in the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism.