Dr. Amy Acton reportedly exploring run for Portman’s US Senate seat
CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Former Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton is considering a run at the U.S. Senate, according to reports.
The former appointee of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced that she is stepping down from her current position with the Columbus Foundation so she can explore interest in running for a U.S. government seat.
“Many Ohioans have shared with me their concerns and the daily challenges they face,” Acton wrote in a statement. “They have expressed a need for a new approach that can help them, and their communities thrive.”
If she commits, Dr. Acton would be campaigning for the seat that will be vacated in 2022 by current Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, who announced he will not run for re-election because of the ongoing divide between the political parties.
Her former boss was asked point blank on Thursday if he would throw his support either for or against Acton.
“I’m going to stay out of democratic primaries. No comment,” said a smiling Gov. DeWine.
Dr. Acton stepped down from the director’s position with the Ohio Department of Health in June 2020 to take a leadership with the Columbus Foundation.
That move came amid rising political tension over her authority, ultimately boiling over with protests outside her home.
“I think that question is going to be on a lot of people’s minds,” said Edward Horowitz, a political science professor at Cleveland State University. “She couldn’t stand the heat previously [and] she got out of it. It’s going to be a very polarizing election.”
Horowitz suggested Acton could make a mark if she does run.
“Name recognition is step one, but you really need some money, you’re going to need some experience and you’ll need some good people working for you to make this happen,” he told 19 News.
During her time at the Ohio Department of Health, Dr. Acton faced pressure from several lawmakers and some state residents for how she handled the coronavirus pandemic, but she said it never bothered her because she remained focused on public health safety.
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