Portman will not run for re-election in 2022

Published 1:21 pm Monday, January 25, 2021

Republican will not seek third term in Senate

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said on Monday that he will not seek re-election in 2022.

Portman, who has served two terms as Ohio’s junior senator, said he was making the decision now, in order to give his fellow Republicans more time to field a candidate for the race.

Email newsletter signup

“I feel fortunate to have been entrusted by the people of Ohio to represent them in the US Senate,” Portman said. “Today, I am announcing that I have made a decision not to run again in 2022.”

The senator said he planned to stay active with a full agenda for the remaining two years of his term.

“This doesn’t mean I’m leaving now,” Portman said. “I intend to use that time to get a lot done. I will be the top Republican on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and I have a number of oversight projects and legislative initiatives I’m eager to get across the finish line. Over the next two years, I look forward to being able to focus all my energy on legislation and the challenges our country faces rather than on fundraising and campaigning.”

Portman also spoke of the divisive atmosphere of today’s politics.

“We live in an increasingly polarized country where members of both parties are being pushed further to the right and further to the left, and that means too few people who are actively looking to find common ground,” he said. “This is not a new phenomenon, of course, but a problem that has gotten worse over the past few decades.”

He said it a “tough time to be in public service,” and said he hopes that President Joe Biden will follow through on his campaign pledge to reach across the aisle and work with Republicans.

“I am prepared to work with him and his administration if he does,” Portman said. “I was on the bipartisan call yesterday on a new COVID-19 package. I hope the Administration will work with us on a more targeted approach that focuses on things like vaccine distribution, testing and getting kids back to school.”

Portman’s’s fellow U.S. senator, Democrat Sherrod Brown, reacted to the news of Portman’s decision.

“Rob and I have worked together on issues that matter to Ohioans, from protecting the health of Lake Erie, to better enforcing our trade laws, to helping Ohioans who are struggling with addiction,” he said in a news release. “We’ve not always agreed with one another, but we’ve always been able to put our differences aside to do what’s best for our state. Connie and I thank Rob for his career of public service and wish him and Jane well.”

Gov. Mike DeWine also reacted to the news.

“Senator Portman has worked tirelessly on behalf of Ohioans during his two terms in the United States Senate,” he said. “Senator Portman has been a key partner on helping Ohio with federal COVID-19 relief and other pandemic-related issues. Senator Portman and I have had similar policy priorities to help Ohio families, from tackling the opioid crisis and the scourge of human trafficking to protesting Lake Erie and Ohio’s other natural wonders. Fran and I wish Rob and Jane and their family the best in their future endeavors.”

Portman, who previously served as U.S. Trade Representative, and director of Office of Management and Budget under President George W. Bush, was elected to the Senate in 2010, replacing the retiring Republican George Voinovich. He was re-elected in 2016, defeating Democratic former Gov. Ted Strickland for the seat.