WASHINGTON D.C., DC — Less than one week after Ohio Sen. Rob Portman announced he will not seek reelection to the United States Senate once his term is up in 2022, several prominent figures in Ohio politics have already excluded themselves from the running.
Democrats and Republicans are both vying for the seat, with several names discussed including U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, former Ohio State University football coach Jim Tressel, and former Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton.
Only one candidate has so far officially announced his intention to run, while other big names have declined to enter the race.
Former Ohio GOP Chairwoman Jane Timken
Timken, a staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump, announced her bid on Feb. 18.
"As Chairman of the Ohio Republican Party, I was a conservative disruptor. With the support of President Trump, I built a part that delivered conservative, America First victories at every level," Timken wrote on Twitter. "Now I'm taking that same work ethic and attitude to Washington."
Former Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel
The Cleveland native officially launched his campaign on Feb. 10, saying he was inspired by the "sham impeachment" of former President Donald Trump.
Mandel was considered the GOP frontrunner for the Senate in 2018, but dropped out before the primary due to his then-wife's health issues. He served two terms as treasurer and previously ran against Sen. Sherrod Brown in 2012, losing that race by six points.
Rep. Joyce Beatty
Beatty, congresswoman for Ohio's third district, confirmed Tuesday that she will not run for the seat that will be left vacant by Sen. Rob Portman.
"I promise to be actively engaged and will campaign to make sure our next Senator shares my commitment to fight for Ohio families, small businesses, women and communities of color—and equally as passionate about eradicating inequities in healthcare, our economy, and social justice system," she said in a statement.
Beatty further wrote that she was grateful for all of the support, but feels as though she can do the most good in her current position in Congress.
The former Ohio State head football coach and Mentor native told Buzzfeed News' Henry J. Gomez he does not intend to leave his current job as Youngstown State University's president.
"Too busy here at YSU to run for the Senate," Tressel said. "It is time for the young guys to step up."
Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted
On Wednesday afternoon, Ohio's Republican lieutenant governor released a statement via Twitter detailing his reasons for not deciding to run for the Senate seat, citing future intentions to run for Governor of Ohio.
"Being Lt. Governor provides me the 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," Husted wrote.
Rep. Jim Jordan
Jordan, a staunch supporter of Trump, was rumored to be the favorite to replace Portman until it was reported in January that he does not intend to leave his current position.
"Mr. Jordan believes at this time he is better suited to represent Ohioans in the House of Representatives, where as the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, he can advance an America first agenda, promote conservative values, and hold big government accountable," a spokesperson for the congressman said in a statement obtained by the Associated Press.
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost
The Republican tweeted that he will not run for the seat and will instead seek a second term as AG.
Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley
Cranley has previously discussed a potential run against DeWine in 2022, but a possible open Senate seat could have changed his course of action. However, 3News sister station WLWT in Cincinnati reports the mayor will not run to replace Portman, and is instead "focused on running for Ohio Governor."
Former Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman
Former Ohio Gov. John Kasich
A former U.S. Rep. from 1983-2001 and later a popular two-term governor, Kasich drew the ire of the GOP with his disavowal of Trump and his endorsement of Joe Biden during the 2020 presidential election. In a statement to The Cincinnati Enquirer, spokesperson Jim Lynch dismissed rumors of Kasich possibly running for Portman's seat as "nothing more than clickbait."
Dr. Amy Acton
A rumored favorite within the Ohio Democratic party, Acton first rose to prominence in the spring of 2020 as the director of Ohio's health department.
"Ohio Democrats already had been raising money for their eventual nominee against Portman, unhappy with his support for Trump’s Supreme Court nominees and other policies," Buzzfeed News' Henry J. Gomez first reported. "Besides [Dayton Mayor Nan] Whaley and [Ohio Rep. Tim] Ryan, former Ohio Democratic Party chair David Pepper and Dr. Amy Acton, who served as [Ohio Gov. Mike] DeWine’s public health director until last summer and has been courted by progressive activists, have been mentioned as potential candidates for the Senate seat."
USA Today reported in 2020 that Acton has voted in Democratic primaries in Ohio, and that in 2008 the former director had campaigned for former President Barack Obama. However, she has also been vocal about her admiration for Gov. Mike DeWine, a Republican.
Former Rep. Jim Renacci
The Wadsworth resident and current Chairman of the Medina County GOP served in Congress for eight years before leaving to run for the U.S. Senate, losing to the incumbent Brown by six points. He has also been rumored as a possible candidate to run against DeWine in the Republican gubernatorial primary.
Rep. Tim Ryan
The Democrat Ryan could be one potential name looking to fill the seat, according to reports. Ryan currently represents Ohio's 13th congressional district and has been noted as one of the strongest liberal voices in the Buckeye State. He has served in the House of Representatives since 2003.
The Cleveland area businessman is "likely" to enter the race for the Republican nomination, according to The Wall Street Journal. The Colombia native has emerged as one of Ohio's prominent GOP donors in recent years, and his daughter Emily was a part of Trump's reelection campaign in the state.
Moreno later texted 3News about the report, saying, "It's important for my family to make certain they are 100% on board."
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley
Whaley has previously been known to consider runs for Congress, and briefly ran for governor in 2018 and has discussed doing so again in 2022. She announced that she will not run for reelection as mayor, but has yet to announce an official run for another office. The Democrat became well known for her response to the mass shooting in Dayton's Oregon District, which killed 10 people and injured 17 others.
Rep. Bill Johnson
Like Jordan, Johnson is a staunch Trump loyalist and is currently in his sixth term representing Southeast Ohio's sixth district. The 66-year-old Republican confirmed Monday he is "seriously considering" running for the Senate.
The Mayor of Columbus from 2000-16, the Democrat announced on Twitter Wednesday night that he is considering a run for the open Senate seat.
"As a result of calls, emails and out reach, I am considering whether I should be a candidate for the United States Senate," Coleman wrote. "Now is a time to elect a person who has a record of bringing people together to solve tough problems."
A Middletown native and Iraq War veteran, Vance rose to prominence as a venture capitalist and author the bestselling memoir "Hillbilly Elegy," which was later adapted into a feature film staring Amy Adams and Glenn Close. He declined to run against Brown in 2018, but has not yet commented on a possible bid in 2022.