GOP Senator Rob Portman, of Ohio, announced Monday that he will not seek a third Senate term in 2022 citing the “partisan gridlock” in the upper Chamber. The move delivers a blow to Republicans’ hopes of taking back the Sanate in the next election. Democrats currently hold a narrow majority in an evenly split Senate due to Vice President Kamala Harris’s tie-breaking vote.
As noted by Politico, “the two-term senator is one of the most effective legislators in the Senate, using his relationships gleaned from a long career in Washington to find compromise. But he cited legislative paralysis in the Senate as a major factor in his decision to retire at the end of next year.”
“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,” he said in a statement, according to the News outlet.
The Ohio Republican joins Sens. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Richard Burr (R-N.C.) in retirement next year in key swing states.
Portman will be plenty busy his last two years, as the top Republican on the Senate Homeland Security Committee as well as a member in a bipartisan coalition working on the next coronavirus relief bill.
“Over the next two years, I look forward to being able to focus all my energy on legislation and the challenges our country faces rather than on fundraising and campaigning,” Portman said.