WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) announced earlier this week that he will not seek a third term in the United States Senate in 2022.
In a statement, Sen. Portman said he felt fortunate to have been entrusted by the people of Ohio to represent them in the U.S. Senate.
Sen. Portman began his career in government in 1989 as an associate White House Counsel under President George H. W. Bush.
Later, he served as George H. W. Bush’s deputy assistant and director of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs from 1989 to 1991.
Sen. Portman began his career in Ohio politics by running in a 1993 special election for Ohio’s second congressional district. Sen. Portman won in the general election and was later re-elected to the House of Representatives in 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, and 2004.
Following a stint in President George W. Bush’s administration from 2005 to 2007, including roles as United States Trade Representative and Director of the Office of Management and Budget, he declared his candidacy in 2010 for Ohio’s open U.S. Senate seat.
Sen. Portman went on to win the election and later win re-election in 2016.
With two years still remaining in Sen. Portman’s term, he said he intends to use the time to “get a lot done.”
“I will be the top Republican on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and I have a number of oversight projects and legislative initiatives I’m eager to get across the finish line,” he went on to say. “Over the next two years, I look forward to being able to focus all my energy on legislation and the challenges our country faces rather than on fundraising and campaigning.”
After his term is over, Sen. Portman said he plans to stay involved in public policy issues.
Sen. Portman also added that he was brought to be considered one of the most bipartisan senators, having 82 bills signed into law by President Donald Trump and 68 signed into law by President Barack Obama.
“This includes impactful laws to address the drug addiction crisis like the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act that has saved lives by providing billions in new resources for evidence-based prevention, treatment and, for the first time ever, recovery services. It includes laws to confront the horrific crime of human trafficking. Working with trafficking victims, advocates, and law enforcement, my SESTA legislation has allowed victims to seek justice, and closed down websites that were trafficking girls and women online.
“It includes laws to help workers, legislation that before the pandemic helped create one of the strongest economies in a generation, with significant wage growth for working families and the lowest poverty level ever recorded. I took a leadership role on tax reform and tax cuts, workforce training, regulatory relief and permitting reform. They all played a role in creating an opportunity economy and are key to getting us back on track. I have also been a leader on retirement security, technology policy, cybersecurity, trade, energy efficiency, prisoner reentry, National Parks, stopping China from stealing our technology, and more. I have worked constructively with my colleague, Senator Sherrod Brown, on matters that help move Ohio forward.
Sen. Portman went on to say that partisan gridlock has made getting things done harder, and that gridlock contributed to his decision to not seek a third term.
“We live in an increasingly polarized country where members of both parties are being pushed further to the right and further to the left, and that means too few people who are actively looking to find common ground,” he said. “This is not a new phenomenon, of course, but a problem that has gotten worse over the past few decades.”
In his statement, Sen. Portman thanked the people of Ohio for giving him an opportunity to serve as well as his staff in Ohio and Washington D.C.
“Of course, I will always be grateful to the voters of Ohio who have supported me in nine elections to the House and Senate. Thanks to them, I’ve never lost an election and never won by less than 18 points. I am confident that with their support I could have won again but, for me, the question was whether I wanted to serve an additional six years in the Senate.
“Finally, and most importantly, a special thanks to Jane and our family for the unconditional support and for the sacrifices they have made — and will continue to make for the next two years. I appreciate Jane, Jed, Sara and Sally for being here today and for the well wishes from Will and Tyler who weren’t able to travel to Cincinnati this morning. We are a team.
“In these next two years, I will continue to be actively engaged, doing my best to provide hope as we try to get through the devastating coronavirus pandemic and doing my best to help bring our great country together, to help us heal, so we address the many challenges we face together.”
Reach Braden Moles at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @BradenMoles