Senator Rob Portman (R., Ohio) said he will not seek reelection in 2022, in comments to The Cincinnati Enquirer on Monday.
Portman was first elected to the Senate in 2011, and before that served in a number of key roles including as U.S. Trade Representative and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President George Bush. However, despite the prospect of a relatively easy reelection, Portman has decided to leave the Senate at the end of his current term.
“This was not an easy decision because representing the people of Ohio has been the greatest honor of my career,” Portman told the Enquirer. “I don’t think any Senate office has been more successful in getting things done, but honestly, 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.”
Portman’s decision comes as Republicans attempt to navigate the defeat of President Trump and the subsequent riot of Trump supporters at the Capitol, which forced lawmakers to evacuate and resulted in five deaths, including a Capitol police officer. Portman refused to support Trump’s claim that Democrats “stole” the election through widespread voter fraud.
Potential candidates for Portman’s Senate seat include Representative Jim Jordan (R., Ohio), a staunch Trump ally, as well as J.D. Vance, the author of Hillbilly Elegy.