Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted won't run for Portman's U.S. Senate seat
Cross Lt. Gov. Jon Husted off the lengthy list of Ohio figures considering a run at the seat U.S. Sen. Rob Portman will vacate early in 2023.
In a Wednesday afternoon statement, Husted confirmed that he would not be pursuing the open seat in 2022. Instead, he is focused on a re-election campaign alongside Gov. Mike DeWine and someday running for the state's top job.
"The primary reason to run for public office is to have the opportunity to use the authority of that office to improve the lives of the people you represent," he said in a statement. "Being Lt. Governor provides me that fulfilling opportunity and I intend to keep doing this job, run for re-election, and one day in the future, I intend to run for governor."
Portman announced Monday that he would not be pursuing another Senate term in 2022, citing partisan gridlock in Congress. Husted, a Republican, is one of only a few public figures and politicians in Ohio who have taken themselves out of the race.
Former U.S. Rep. Pat Tiberi, now president of the Ohio Business Roundtable, also said Wednesday that he wasn't interested in the job.
“My current role as President & CEO of the Ohio Business Roundtable has allowed me to help improve the lives of Ohioans through championing pro-growth policies to grow our state, and that remains my primary focus going forward," Tiberi said in a prepared statement. "It is my hope that Senator Portman’s successor follow in his footsteps of prioritizing good policies over politics, and learn to seek common ground with those across the aisle to help heal and move the country forward.”
Republicans have speculated that U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan of Urbana, an ally of President Donald Trump in Congress, might make a play for the seat, and former Treasurer Josh Mandel, a one-time Senate candidate, is sitting on $4.3 million in a federal campaign account.
Former U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci also has alluded to another statewide run after losing in 2018 to U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat.
The Democrats have their own list of potential candidates for the seat as well, including former Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton.