Republican Senator Says He Won't Seek Reelection

Ohio's Rob Portman is leaving; will 'Hillbilly Elegy' author JD Vance replace him?
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 25, 2021 10:02 AM CST
GOP Sen. Rob Portman Won't Run for Reelection
Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, won't run for reelection.   (Joshua Roberts/Pool via AP)

Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio said Monday he won't seek reelection in 2022 and plans to end a career in federal government spanning more than three decades, per the AP. "It has gotten harder and harder to break through the partisan gridlock and make progress on substantive policy, and that has contributed to my decision," said Portman, per the Cincinnati Enquirer. Portman's announcement comes the same day the Senate is receiving the House impeachment article against former President Trump. While some Republican senators have criticized going ahead with the trial next month with Trump out of office, Portman said last week he would listen to both sides before making a decision on how to vote. Portman, who turned 65 last month, is among establishment Republicans who clearly struggled with supporting Trump.

After Trump called the presidential election rigged, Portman said Trump had a right to a probe of any irregularities. But in the immediate aftermath of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the US Capitol, Portman said Trump needed to go on national TV to address his supporters and tell them to refrain from violence. "Both in his words before the attack on the Capitol and in his actions afterward, President Trump bears some responsibility for what happened on January 6," he said. Portman was elected handily twice to the Senate, but he was considered likely to face primary opposition in 2022. The Enquirer reports the seat is expected to remain in GOP hands and lists some possible candidates: Rep. Jim Jordan, Ohio GOP Chair Jane Timken, former state Treasurer Josh Mandel, and Hillbilly Elegy author JD Vance.

(More Rob Portman stories.)

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