Republican Rob Portman announced in January that he wouldn’t seek reelection to a third term in the U.S. Senate, citing partisan rancor.
It opened the floodgates of speculation on which Democrats and Republicans would compete for the open seat in 2022.
On the Democratic side, former Ohio Department of Health director Dr. Amy Acton stepped down from a private foundation post to give a Senate run consideration; Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, who announced she wouldn’t seek a third term, has said she may be interested; U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Niles, and House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes, D-Akron, have indicated interest.
On the GOP side, former state treasurer Josh Mandel and former Ohio Republican Party chairwoman Jane Timken have both launched their campaigns and are competing to win over Trump voters.
Businessman Mike Gibbons, who ran in the GOP primary in 2018, launched a statewide “listening tour” this week in advance of a possible announcement.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that a super PAC supporting author J.D. Vance received a $10 million contribution from Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal. Vicki Hoffman, treasurer for Protect Ohio Values PAC, declined to comment.
The Cook Political Report ranks the Ohio race as leaning Republican.
Staff writer Kaitlin Schroeder contributed to this report.