Politicians, parties react to Sen. Rob Portman deciding to not seek reelection

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohio politicians and parties are responding to Sen. Rob Portman’s decision Monday to not seek reelection in 2022. Portman, a Republican from Cincinnati, has served in Senate since 2011.

Gov. Mike DeWine, a Republican, thanked Portman for his partnership at the federal level.

Senator Portman has worked tirelessly on behalf of Ohioans during his two terms in the United States Senate. 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 protecting Lake Erie and Ohio’s other natural wonders. Fran and I wish Rob and Jane and their family the best in their future endeavors.

Gov. Mike DeWine

Ohio’s other U.S. Senator, Democrat Sherrod Brown, said that he and Portman were always able to set aside their political differences to help the state.

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. 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.

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio

Liz Walters, chairwoman of the Ohio Democratic Party, said that Portman’s support of former President Donald Trump’s policies and other decisions would have made reelection difficult for him.

Over the past four years, Rob Portman has been one of Donald Trump’s biggest defenders, so his attempt today to rewrite that history is ridiculous. This is the guy who, when asked about Trump’s decision to attack peaceful protesters with tear gas, said he was ‘late for lunch.’ This is the guy who backed Mitch McConnell’s theft of a Supreme Court seat from President Barack Obama. If Portman wants to complain about the death of civility and the triumph of partisan gridlock, he should take a long, hard look in the mirror and think about what he wants to be his legacy.

The truth is, Portman is looking at the same data we are — the Ohio Senate seat was going to be a hard road for him, after he backed failed policies like the Trump tax scam and the Affordable Care Act repeal. In 2022 Ohioans want to send someone to the U.S. Senate who fights for them, not for special interests. This was always going to be a competitive race, and now it’s even more competitive.

Liz Walters, Ohio Democratic Party chairwoman

Jane Timken, chairman of the Ohio Republican Party, said Portman’s retirement will leave “huge shoes to fill.”

Rob Portman is a statesman whose service to our country and our party over nearly three decades has been invaluable. His leadership and temperament will be missed in the halls of the U.S. Senate and amongst Ohio Republicans. While we have huge shoes to fill in the U.S. Senate, I thank Senator Portman for his service and hope all Ohioans will join me in recognizing his accomplishments that furthered our great state.

Jane Timken, Ohio Republican Party chairman

Rep. Mike Turner, R-10th, whose district includes Dayton, seemed to indicate that he might consider a run to replace Portman.

Rob Portman has been a tremendous public servant for the state of Ohio whose bipartisanship, pragmatism, and strong record of results will be greatly missed in the Senate. As numerous people have reached out to me, I will continue to look to the opportunity where I can best serve our community, state and country. My priority remains putting my constituents first.”

Rep. Mike Turner, R-10th District

Rep. Tim Ryan, D-13th, whose district is in northeast Ohio, said he is considering a Senate run.

I’m overwhelmed by supporters who are reaching out to encourage me to run for Senate. I haven’t made a decision yet but I’m looking seriously at it. Ohio deserves leaders who fight for working people.

Rep. Tim Ryan, D-13th District

Rep. Bob Latta, R-Fifth, whose district is in northwest Ohio, thanked Portman for his “common-sense conservative ideas.

Senator Rob Portman’s announcement today that he will not run for re-election is bittersweet. Since 2011, Rob has worked diligently, efficiently, and honorably in the Senate on behalf of Ohioans and Americans everywhere. His efforts have focused on common-sense conservative ideas to help create jobs, combat the opioid epidemic, protect our Great Lakes, ensure the men and women in the Armed Forces have the resources they need to safely complete their missions, and far more. And through the many opportunities Rob and I have been able to work together, he has become more than a colleague, but a tremendous friend. Marcia and I send him and Jane our sincere congratulations as they prepare to embark upon their next journey together.

Rep. Bob Latta, R-Fifth District

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, a Republican, called Portman a “statesman.”

[Portman] has long been what our founders hoped for in a public servant when they wrote our Constitution — a statesman. Over the remaining two years of his term, I have no doubt he’ll continue his work to move our economy forward and keep our state & nation strong.

Frank LaRose, Ohio Secretary of State

State Senator Niraj Antani, R-Miamisburg, spoke of his long friendship with Portman.

I’ve known Senator Rob Portman since college. He’s been a role model, a close mentor, & someone who’s always given me tough, sound advice. He is the pinnacle of a public servant and statesmen. Senator Portman, thank you for your service as you announce your retirement today.

State Sen. Niraj Antani

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