Former Ohio health director won't run for Senate

Former Ohio health director won't run for Senate
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Amy Acton, the former director of the Ohio Department of Health, announced on Wednesday that she will not run for retiring Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanSenators introduce bipartisan infrastructure bill in rare Sunday session Optimism grows that infrastructure deal will get to Biden's desk Biden's bipartisan deal faces Senate gauntlet MORE’s (R-Ohio) seat next year. 

“It has been a tremendous honor to be asked to consider a run for the U.S. Senate,” Acton said in a statement. “Like many of you, I have a profound reverence for the office, and for those who have answered the calling to public service. As such, I have given it my most thoughtful and deliberate consideration.”

“While I am not entering the race for U.S. Senate, I recognize there is a genuine longing for a fresh approach to leadership that is honest, collaborative, and empowering,” she added. “Ohioans — do not accept anything less from your elected officials. Our leaders’ words and actions matter. We must set the bar higher.”

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Acton’s decision to forgo a Senate campaign whittles down the field of potential Democratic challengers for Portman’s seat in 2022. On Monday, Danny O’Connor, a county recorder and former House candidate, announced that he would not run for Senate next year and would instead mount another bid for the House.

No Democrat has formally jumped into the race yet, though Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) RyanHouse passes spending bill to boost Capitol Police and Hill staffer pay Tim Ryan slams McCarthy for mocking Capitol physician, mask mandate Six takeaways: What the FEC reports tell us about the midterm elections MORE (D-Ohio) is expected to run, as is state House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes. 

The Republican field, on the other hand, has grown increasingly crowded. It now includes former Ohio state Treasurer Josh Mandel, former state GOP chair Jane Timken and, as of Tuesday, businessman Bernie Moreno. Other potential candidates include investment banker Mike Gibbons and Rep. Steve StiversSteven (Steve) Ernst StiversTrump takes two punches from GOP The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - A huge win for Biden, centrist senators The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Officers recount the horror of Jan. 6 MORE (R-Ohio). 

Portman announced his retirement in January, adding his name to a growing list of Republican senators who have decided to forgo reelection bids in 2022. 

And while Ohio has drifted to the right in recent years — former President TrumpDonald TrumpSenators introduce bipartisan infrastructure bill in rare Sunday session Gosar's siblings pen op-ed urging for his resignation: 'You are immune to shame' Sunday shows - Delta variant, infrastructure dominate MORE carried the state twice — Democrats are hoping to replicate the success of Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownTop Democrat: 'A lot of spin' coming from White House on infrastructure Schumer's moment to transform transit and deepen democracy Democrats ramp up pressure for infrastructure deal amid time crunch MORE (Ohio), the last remaining Democrat serving in statewide elected office. He won reelection in 2018, even as his party lost Ohio's gubernatorial race.