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Hillary Clinton urges Tim Ryan to run for Ohio Senate seat

Former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonPelosi on power in DC: 'You have to seize it' Cuba readies for life without Castro Chelsea Clinton: Pics of Trump getting vaccinated would help him 'claim credit' MORE urged Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) RyanBusinessman Mike Gibbons jumps into GOP Senate race in Ohio Biden's gun control push poses danger for midterms Trump faces test of power with early endorsements MORE (D) to run for the Ohio Senate seat being vacated when current Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanKellyanne Conway joins Ohio Senate candidate's campaign OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Senate confirms Mallory to lead White House environment council | US emissions dropped 1.7 percent in 2019 | Interior further delays Trump rule that would make drillers pay less to feds Senate confirms Biden's pick to lead White House environmental council MORE (R) retires at the end of his term. 

"Rep. Tim Ryan is 'seriously considering' running for U.S. Senate in 2022," tweeted Kathy DiCristofaro, a Democratic National Committee member. "Ohio needs leaders like @TimRyan to fight for working people. I’m all In!" 

Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, chimed in with a tweet of her own, saying, "You’re right, Kathy!" 

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Portman announced earlier this month that he would retire at the end of his current term, which ends this year. Ryan has said he is "looking seriously" at the possibility of running for the seat.

“I’m overwhelmed by supporters who are reaching out to encourage me to run for Senate. I haven’t made a decision yet but I’m looking seriously at it,” Ryan, who ran for president in 2020, said in a tweet on Jan. 25. “Ohio deserves leaders who fight for working people.”

Democrats are hoping to flip the seat in the tightly controlled upper chamber. They were able to gain enough Senate seats in the November election to gain control of the chamber with a 50-50 split while holding the tie-breaking vote with Vice President Harris.

Ryan is seen as a moderate candidate in a state that has moved to the right since the end of former President Obama's term. Former President TrumpDonald TrumpDC goes to the dogs — Major and Champ, that is Biden on refugee cap: 'We couldn't do two things at once' Taylor Greene defends 'America First' effort, pushes back on critics MORE won Ohio handily in both 2016 and 2020.