Gibbons weighing U.S. Senate run

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 13, 2021

Race to fill Portman seat drawing wide interest in both parties

COLUMBUS — Another Republican is weighing a run for the 2022 U.S. Senate race in Ohio.

Investment banker Mike Gibbons announced Thursday that he is stepping down from his role at conservative Super PAC Ohio Strong to consider a campaign for the seat bring vacated by Republican Rob Portman, who is retiring.

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According to political website The Hill, Gibbons said if he chooses to run for Senate, he would immediately put $5 million of his personal fortune toward the effort.

Gibbons, the founder of Brown Gibbons Lang & Company, ran unsuccessfully for Ohio’s other Senate seat in 2018, challenging Democratic incumbent Sherrod Brown.

He made a stop in Lawrence County during that campaign and came in second in the Republican primary that year, winning 31.69 percent of the vote.

The Republican nomination went to U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci, who won by 47.34 percent. Renacci was defeated by Brown in the fall, 53.41 to 46.57 percent.

The 2022 field is shaping up to be a crowded one. On the Republican side, former Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel announced his run for the seat, while state Republican chair Jane Timken and U.S. Reps. Bill Johnson, Steve Stivers and Brad Wenstrup are among those who have said they are considering runs.

U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, former Gov. John Kasich, Attorney General David Yost and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted have all declined to run.

In the Democratic primary, former state health director Amy Acton, U.S. Rep. Joyce Beatty and Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley have said they are weighing a run, while U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan is said to be readying an announcement that he is entering the race, while Columbus Mayor John Cranley and Cincinnati Mayor Michael Coleman have declined to run.

Gibbons said he would make his decision on the Republican primary within a few weeks.