Ohio Senator Rob Portman, a Republican, has announced that he won’t run for a third term next year. While Ohio has trended redder and is no longer in contention as a swing state in national elections, perhaps 2022 will be a year when Democrats can see success there with the U.S. Senate. Democrat Senator Sherrod Brown defeated his Republican challenger by nearly seven percentage points there in 2018, thus winning a third term. If Brown was able to win in Ohio, it is certainly within reason to think that the right Democratic candidate could win there next year.
This weekend, Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) told MSNBC that he’s “looking closely” at running to represent the Buckeye State in the U.S. Senate. You may recall that Ryan ran for president in 2020. While he may not have been the electorate’s pick in the primaries, his candidacy did raise his profile and give him greater name recognition in his home state. Ryan has represented Ohio’s 13th congressional district since 2013, and he represented the state’s 17th district from 2003 until 2013 (this change in districts was due to redistricting). Rep. Ryan, like Senator Brown, is one of those Democrats with an ability to appeal to some on the right, making a victory in Ohio seem realistic – especially if the Democrats turn out for him.
Rep. Ryan supported Hillary Clinton in both of her campaigns for president, and she expressed her support of his running for Senate on Twitter this weekend. Ohio is one of a few Senate seats that Democrats are looking to flip in 2022, in the hopes of increasing the Democratic majority in that chamber. Given Ryan’s political talents and skill in attracting some Republican voters, he just may be the candidate who could pull off a win for the Democrats in Ohio.