Potential Ohio candidates to fill Rob Portman’s Senate seat

After Senator Rob Portman announced that he would not seek re-election, several fascinating Ohio candidates have emerged as potential Senate successors.

Editor’s note: The video in the player above is dated January 4, 2021.

After Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) announced that he will not seek re-election at the end of his term, many have already begun speculating about who might be fighting for the Senator’s seat when it opens in 2022.

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What follows is a list of potential Republican and Democratic candidates to replace Senator Portman, who was first elected to the US Senate in 2010.


Rep. Jim Jordan

Jordan has been a member of the US House of Representatives since 2006 and has built a reputation for being one of the most conservative members of Congress. The former Ohio State wrestling assistant was one of President Donald Trump’s biggest public supporters and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom prior to the end of Trump’s tenure.

Lt. Governor Jon Husted

Husted, who currently serves as Ohio Governor under Governor Mike DeWine, has been one of the faces of Ohio’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, particularly in terms of the economy. It’s worth noting that DeWine will be up for re-election in 2022, with some already speculating that he might be prioritized by a Republican challenger.

Jim Tressel, President of Youngstown

Could the former Ohio State head coach nicknamed “The Senator” actually become one? Given the recent election of Tommy Tuberville in Alabama, this would not be unprecedented.

Almost immediately after Portman announced not to seek re-election, many used social media to promote Tressel as a potential candidate. And until the current President of Youngstown State comments, that speculation is likely to only increase.

Other potential Republican candidates: Attorney General David Yost, Secretary of State Frank LaRose, former Treasurer of Ohio, Josh Mandel, venture capitalist / author JD Vance.

Governor DeWine made the following statement on today’s news that @senrobportman would not seek re-election: pic.twitter.com/5NunnE6o4y

– Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) January 25, 2021


Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley

Dayton’s 2014 mayor since 2014, Whaley, has previously considered candidates for Congress and was most recently linked to Ohio’s 2022 gubernatorial election after announcing she would not run for re-election as mayor. In 2019, she received national recognition for her response to the mass shootings in Dayton’s Oregon District, which left 10 dead (including the shooter) and 17 injured.

Rep. Tim Ryan

Ryan is currently the U.S. Representative for Ohio’s 13th District and has grown to be one of the leading Democratic voices in Buckeye state. Born in Ohio, Niles has no shortage of Washington DC experience as he has had a US seat since 2003.

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley

With the end of his tenure as Mayor of Cincinnati, Cranley has already announced his plans to investigate a possible run against DeWine in the 2022 gubernatorial election. However, an unexpectedly open Senate seat could change plans for members of both parties and potentially reduce the likelihood of DeWine being promoted to primary education.

Former Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton

According to Henry Gomez of BuzzFeed News, Acton – who previously volunteered for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign – was courted by progressive activists and named as a potential Senate run candidate. As director of the Ohio Department of Health under DeWine, Acton received national recognition for her response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In June, Acton resigned from her position and later told The New Yorker that she feared she would be pressured to sign orders she did not believe.

Other Democratic Potential Candidates: Emilia Sykes, Former Representative of Ohio House; Kathleen Clyde, Former Representative of Franklin County, Danny O’Connor, Former Democratic Party Leader of Ohio, David Pepper.

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