WASHINGTON, D.C. – Champaign County GOP Rep. Jim Jordan on Thursday announced that he won’t run for the U.S. Senate seat that will be vacated by Republican Rob Portman’s upcoming retirement, a decision that opens the field for many other Republicans who are eager for the chance to succeed Portman.
A spokesman for Jordan’s campaign said he’s been “honored by the overwhelming encouragement he has received to run for the United States Senate.
“However, he is solely focused on representing the great people of Ohio’s Fourth District, and will not be running to fill the seat of retiring Senator Rob Portman,” the spokesman said. “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.”
Since Portman’s Monday announcement that he’ll retire at the end of his term instead of seeking reelection in 2022, much of the speculation about who could succeed him has revolved around Jordan. He’s built up a strong brand with rank-and-file Republican voters across the state, thanks to his impassioned defense of former President Donald Trump in television interviews and during two sets of impeachment hearings in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The $5 million in his campaign treasury in November showed he has the ability to raise enough money for a statewide race, and he was seen as most likely to land an endorsement from Trump, who won the state of Ohio by eight percentage points.
Jordan’s departure from the race will make other contenders more likely to enter. Other Republicans who say they might enter the race include Ohio Republican Party Chairman Jane Timken, former Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, businessman Mike Gibbons, and U.S. House of Representatives members Steve Stivers of Columbus, Brad Wenstrup of Cincinnati, Mike Turner of Dayton, Anthony Gonzalez of Rocky River, Bill Johnson of Marietta and Dave Joyce of Bainbridge Township.