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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 PortmanHarris casts tiebreaking vote to advance Biden nominee The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - After historic verdict, Chauvin led away in handcuffs How to save the Amazon rainforest 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) 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-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 StiversThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - GOP draws line on taxes; nation braces for Chauvin verdict The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - All US adults now eligible for COVID vaccines GOP Rep. Steve Stivers plans to retire 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 TrumpUS gives examples of possible sanctions relief to Iran GOP lawmaker demands review over FBI saying baseball shooting was 'suicide by cop' House passes bill aimed at stopping future Trump travel ban MORE carried the state twice — Democrats are hoping to replicate the success of Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownHouse Dems to unveil drug pricing measure ahead of Biden package Ma'Khia Bryant's TikToks go viral as alternative to body cam footage Sherrod Brown: Teenager killed in Columbus police shooting 'should be alive right now' 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.