Tags: Donald Trump | rob portman | ohio | senate | gop | republican

Sen. Portman's Seat Likely to Stay Republican

rob portman walks out of a senate committee meeting in the capitol
Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio (Bill Clark/AP)

By Monday, 25 January 2021 10:00 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Within hours of the surprise Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, announcement Monday he would not seek reelection in 2022, the consensus of Portman's fellow Ohio Republicans was his seat would almost certainly remain in their hands.

Over the past decade, the Buckeye State has been steadily becoming "red." Along with Donald Trump twice carrying the state's electoral votes with ease, Ohio's statewide officials are all Republicans — the sole exception being the state's senior Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio.

Among the first names talked of as a candidate was that of Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, best known as past head of the House GOP "Freedom Caucus" and a close ally of former President Trump.

Most observers believe Trump and his political organization in Ohio would rally behind Jordan if he becomes a candidate. Jordan would also likely have considerable national funding because of his years of appearances on cable TV shows and talk radio.

Another Republican widely discussed following news of Portman's retirement is Lt. Gov. Jon Husted.

A former speaker of the state House of Representatives and two-term secretary of state, Husted originally planned to run for governor in 2018. But he ended up deferring to then-Attorney General (and present Gov.) Mike DeWine, becoming his lieutenant governor running mate.

The other statewide official mentioned for the open Senate seat is State Attorney General Dave Yost. The former Delaware County prosecutor is famed for joining with eight other state attorneys general to launch an anti-trust suit against Facebook and Google.

But whether Yost, at 64, wants to start a new career as a freshman senator is uncertain.

Another Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Ohio, is mentioned as a possible Senate candidate. He has national political contacts as a past chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, but lacks the conservative following of colleague Jordan.

But, historically, it is very difficult to go directly from U.S. representative to senator in Ohio.

Democrat Brown did this, but he also served as secretary of state and had run for governor.

Republican Portman also served previously in the House, but had subsequent national exposure as George W. Bush's director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Among Democrats, the lone name boomed for the Senate is that of Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley. At 45, Whaley is considered one of the few Ohio Democrats with "star" quality. But in '18, she launched a bid for governor only to abandon the race in favor of a rival candidate.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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John-Gizzi
Within hours of the surprise Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, announcement Monday he would not seek reelection in 2022, the consensus of Portman's fellow Ohio Republicans was his seat would almost certainly remain in their hands.
rob portman, ohio, senate, gop, republican
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2021-00-25
Monday, 25 January 2021 10:00 PM
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