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Ohio Sen. Rob Portman said Monday he’s not seeking re-election in 2022 — joining at least two other swing-state Republicans who will retire.
Portman told the Cincinnati Enquirer that “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, 65, is completing his second six-year term. He is a former House member and was White House budget director during former President George W. Bush’s second term.
Although midterm elections often are good for the opposition party during a president’s first term — with big Republican gains in 1994 and 2010 and Democrats retaking the House 2018 — retirements among Republicans could be a challenge.
Also retiring in 2022 are Republican Sens. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Richard Burr of North Carolina. No Democratic senators have announced their retirement.
Ohio’s other senator is Democrat Sherrod Brown.
Portman told the Enquirer that he’s undecided going into former President Trump’s impeachment trial for allegedly inciting the mob that stormed the Capitol and disrupted certification of President Biden’s victory.
“As a juror, I’m going to listen to both sides. That’s my job,” Portman told the paper. He said, however, that “I don’t excuse anything President Trump did on Jan. 6 or in the run-up to it.”
At least 17 Senate Republicans would have to vote in favor of convicting Trump — a steep climb. Only 10 House Republicans voted to impeach Trump this month, and in Trump’s first impeachment trial last year a single Republican, Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, voted to convict on one of two counts.
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