Rep. Jim Jordan “will not be running” to fill GOP Sen. Rob Portman’s seat, after the two-term senator from Ohio announced he would not seek re-election in 2022, Fox News has learned.
A spokesperson for Jordan’s congressional campaign told Fox News that he is “honored by the overwhelming encouragement he has received to run for the United States Senate.”
“However, he is solely focused on representing the great people of Ohio’s Fourth District, and will not be running to fill the seat of retiring Senator Rob Portman,” the spokesperson said. “Mr. Jordan believes that at this time he is better suited to represent Ohioans in the House of Representatives, where as the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, he can advance an America first agenda, promote conservative values, and hold big government accountable.”
The decision comes after a source familiar told Fox News earlier that Jordan, R-Ohio, was “considering” mounting a Senate bid.
The speculation around a Jordan Senate run came after Portman on Monday said he wouldn’t seek a third term, pointing to congressional gridlock as a reason.
“I don’t think any Senate office has been more successful in getting things done, but honestly, it has gotten harder and harder to break through the partisan gridlock and make progress on substantive policy, and that has contributed to my decision,” Portman said.
Portman served a decade and a half in the House before serving as U.S. Trade Representative and director of the Office of Management and Budget in President George W. Bush’s administration. He was first elected to the Senate in 2010 and easily reelected in 2016.
Pointing to his three decades in public service, the senator noted that “this was not an easy decision because representing the people of Ohio has been an honor. But I’ve been doing this a long time, longer than I ever intended.”
Portman’s decision to retire rather than run for reelection will likely make the GOP’s hopes of recapturing the chamber in the 2022 elections more challenging.
The Senate is split 50-50 between the two parties, but the Democrats hold a razor-thin majority due to the tie-breaking vote of Vice President Kamala Harris. That means Republicans only have to flip one seat in 2022 to regain the majority they lost in the 2020 elections.
But the GOP is defending 20 of the 34 seats up for grabs in the next midterm elections.
Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.
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