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Rep. Jim Jordan Won't Seek Portman's U.S. Senate Seat

Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan
Jonathan Newton
The Washington Post via AP, Pool
Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan

Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, a fiery Donald Trump supporter, won’t run to succeed Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, who announced this week he isn’t going to seek a third term in 2022.

The eighth-term congressman’s name surfaced soon after Portman’s announcement as a potential strong contender in what’s expected to be a crowded GOP field.

A spokesman for Jordan says he won't be running for Portman's seat.

The spokesman says Jordan, a strong ally of former President Trump who won re-election by almost a two to one margin, will run for his seat again, though his district may look different after Congressional lines are redrawn this year. Ohio could lose one Congressional district when last year's Census counts are reported April 30.

This is considered a huge break in that race for the Republicans who want to run. And the leading contenders are all also vocal supporters of Trump.

That list of potential candidates could include Jane Timken, who became chairman of the Ohio Republican Party in 2017 with the support of Trump by ousting Matt Borges, a supporter of former presidential candidate and Gov. John Kasich. Timken tweeted this after Portman's announcement.

Also weighing the option to run is former state treasurer and 2012 failed Senate candidate Josh Mandel, who shared this on Monday.

Mandel lost to U.S. Sen Sherrod Brown (D-OH) by six points in 2012. He had planned to launch a rematch against Brown in 2018, but dropped out of the race when his wife became seriously ill. Later in 2018, he filed paperwork to run for the U.S. House, but a campaign never materialized.

Former Congressman and failed 2018 candidate for governor Jim Renacci also is thought to be interested. Renacci got out of the 2018 gubernatorial primary to oppose Brown in the Senate race, which he said he did at Trump's urging. He lost to Brown by nearly seven points. But Renacci may be thinking of challenging DeWine again. He's tweeted criticisms of state spending and COVID-related policies, and some have been obviously aimed at the governor.

When asked if he'd run for governor, he said in a recent town hall that he would do "whatever is required."

On the Democratic side, Dayton mayor Nan Whaley has already said she’s not running for re-election to that office, and tweeted out that she's "still deciding what I will do next."

Also interested in the Senate race but saying "I haven’t made a decision yet but I’m looking seriously at it" is Youngstown-area Congressman Tim Ryan (D-13, Niles).

And joining the group is Michael Coleman, who left office in 2016 as the longest-serving mayor in Columbus' history.

There's also a new name coming up in political circles as a possible candidate, former Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton, who resigned that job in June after criticism from Republican state lawmakers, along with protests at her home and threats of violence. 

He left state government entirely in August for a position at the nonprofit Columbus Foundation. There are reports that supporters are polling to determine her name ID and popularity as a possible candidate.