COLUMBUS, Ohio (WOIO) - Republican Ohio U.S. Senator Rob Portman announced he won’t be running for re-election once his current six-year term expires in 2022.
In a press release Monday morning, Portman said he will finish out his current term but will focus on legislation instead of campaigning for re-election in a political climate he said is more divided than it’s been in years.
“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 said in a statement.
“We live in an increasingly polarized country where members of both parties are being pushed further to the right and further to the left, and that means too few people who are actively looking to find common ground. This is not a new phenomenon, of course, but a problem that has gotten worse over the past few decades,” Portman said.
Portman has spoken out against the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol and and said there’s no proof of mass fraud that would change the outcome of the 2020 U.S. election, two issues tied closely to former president Donald Trump.
This is Portman’s second term representing Ohio in the U.S. Senate.
Prior to joining the Senate, Portman worked in the executive branch for eight years under various administration and in the House of Representatives for 12 years.
“I want to thank the great people of Ohio for giving me the incredible opportunity to serve, and I look forward to continuing to work hard for them over the next two years,” Portman said.
Portman said he hopes President Biden will follow through on his pledge to reach across the aisle and work with all lawmakers on issues like distributing the coronavirus vaccine, expanding access to coronavirus tests, and getting kids back in school.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown reacted to the news of the Republican’s future:
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, a Republican, also released a statement regarding Portman’s end-of-term plan: