Ex-Rep. Portman, Sen. Brown Hail Retiring Voinovich

Ohio pols are heaping praise upon Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio), who announced Monday that he won't seek a third term in 2010.

Former Rep. Rob Portman (R) called Voinovich "one of the great public servants of our time." Portman, who served as U.S. trade representative and White House budget director for President Bush, is considered as top contender for Voinovich's Senate seat.

"Ohio is a better place because of his principled leadership, passionate advocacy, and his commitment to future generations," Portman said in a statement.

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said it was an honor to work with Voinovich.

"George and I share a commitment to fighting for Ohio during this challenging time for our nation," he said in a statement.

Read the full releases from Portman and Brown after the jump.

Former Rep. Rob Portman:

"Senator Voinovich is one of the great public servants of our time. As Assistant Attorney General, State Representative, County Auditor, County Commissioner, Mayor, Lieutenant Governor, Governor, and United States Senator, he has worked tirelessly for the people of Ohio.

His countless contributions to our state and to our nation will be felt for many years to come. I have had the privilege of working closely with Senator Voinovich over the years, and I have been honored to call him my friend. His integrity and unwavering commitment to public service has inspired me and so many others.

Jane and I wish Senator Voinovich and his wife, Janet, the very best during the remaining two years of his Senate term and as he makes his transition into a new chapter from a lifetime of public service."


Sen. Sherrod Brown:

"For more than four decades, George has been a dedicated public servant and advocate for Ohio. It's been an honor working alongside him in the U.S. Senate. George and I share a commitment to fighting for Ohio during this challenging time for our nation. I look forward to continuing to work with him over the next two years.

"George is not only dedicated to our state, but also to his wonderful family. Connie and I wish George, Janet, and their family all the best during this time of transition.