CLEVELAND (WJW)– Republican Sen. Rob Portman said he feels very fortunate to represent Ohio, during a conference call Tuesday afternoon.
Over the next two years, Portman said it will be nice to focus on legislation and challenges we face as a country, rather than fundraising and campaigning.
“I’m not gonna run again in 2022, but I have two more years to continue to work for the people of Ohio.”
Portman handily won reelection in 2016. Political insiders said his announcement will trigger what’s likely to be a highly competitive race to fill his seat.
When asked if he would consider stepping down early so Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine can appoint a replacement, Portman responded, “No. Trump won Ohio twice by 8 points, Republicans have a leg up so I’m certain it will more than likely be a Republican to fill my seat.”
Portman said he will be an impartial juror during former President Donald Trump’s impeachment proceedings.
“It’s not going to affect how I deal with impeachment. I’ve said all along, I’m a juror. I’m going to listen to both sides as I did last time. I am going to ask a couple of questions. One is about the constitutionality,” he said.
“The president is gone from office and, as you know, impeachment is generally viewed as something about removing someone from office and if you read the Constitution, that’s what it focuses on. And then second, just how to bring this country together. What’s the best thing to do to help heal the wounds. What the president did on Jan. 6, to me, is inexcusable. He shouldn’t have done it. I spoke out clearly about it as I have when other people have used language and said things that pull us further apart rather than help us come together. The question is how do we heal our country at this point? How do we figure out a way to solve these big problems? And that has to start with trusting each other and working with each other and finding that common ground.”
Portman also stressing the importance of bipartisanship in getting another COVID-19 relief package passed to help get the economy moving again.