Ohio Democrat Danny O’Connor won’t seek Portman’s Senate seat

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Democrat Danny O’Connor will not run for retiring Sen. Rob Portman’s (R-Ohio) Senate seat in 2022 and is planning instead on a campaign for the House. 

“I believe that I can get a lot of good stuff done for the people of central Ohio as a member of the House of Representatives, whether it’s access to paid family leave, whether it’s ensuring that we’re focused on economic growth in this region and higher wages for the people who work hard every single day,” O’Connor said, according to The Columbus Dispatch

O’Connor was one of several Democrats weighing a bid to try and flip Portman’s pivotal seat. Other potential candidates include former Ohio state Health Director Amy Acton, Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) and Ohio state House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes.

On the Republican side, former Ohio state GOP chairwoman Jane Timken and former state Treasurer Josh Mandel have already announced campaigns. Others have floated Senate bids, including businessman Mike Gibbons and Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio).

Decennial redistricting means Ohio’s congressional map is expected to change, and the state could lose one of its House seats. 

This would not be O’Connor’s first time running for the House. He faced Rep. Troy Balderson (R-Ohio) in a 2018 special election to replace former Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio). He ultimately lost that race by less than 1 percentage point.

Democrats have weathered a series of disappointing statewide defeats in Ohio in recent years as the state has lurched to the right. But they believe that Portman’s coming retirement has given them an opening to expand their ultra-narrow Senate majority. 

Tags 2022 midterm elections Danny O'Connor Ohio politics Ohio Senate Race Pat Tiberi Rob Portman Steve Stivers Tim Ryan troy balderson

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