U.S. Representative Tim Ryan (D-OH-13) wasted no time expressing his interest in the U.S. Senate seat Republican Rob Portman announced he will not seek again in 2022. On January 25, the day of Portman’s announcement, Ryan said he was “looking seriously at it.”
I’m overwhelmed by supporters who are reaching out to encourage me to run for Senate. I haven’t made a decision yet but I’m looking seriously at it. Ohio deserves leaders who fight for working people. #OHSen https://t.co/FzRIn9bHfw
— Tim Ryan (@TimRyan) January 25, 2021
Five days later, the 2016 Democratic Presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton tweeted her approval of a Ryan run for senate in response to a tweet from Ohio Democratic Women’s Caucus Chair Kathy DiCristofaro claiming that Ohio needs leaders like Ryan and that she was “all in” on the idea.
Clinton retweeted DiCristofaro’s post, writing “You’re right, Kathy!”
You’re right, Kathy! https://t.co/RhC1wA00l2
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) January 30, 2021
Ryan put together a campaign for the 2020 Presidential Election, but failed to gain any meaningful traction in the race for the Democratic Party nomination. He dropped out of the contest in October, 2019 and endorsed Joe Biden a short time later in November.
Ryan began his political career as an aid to Congressman Jim Traficant, served one term in the Ohio Senate, and then won a seat in the U.S. House, where he has been since 2003.
In 2016, Ryan vied to become Speaker of the U.S. House when he contested Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-12), saying “under our current leadership, Democrats have been reduced to our smallest congressional minority since 1929. This should indicate to all of us that keeping our leadership team completely unchanged will simply lead to more disappointment in future elections.”
But rep Tim Ryan is not the only Ohio Democrat who is considering a Senate run.
U.S. Rep Marcy Kaptur (D-OH-9) is a fixture in the U.S. House. She has represented Ohio in D.C. since 1983. Formerly, she served the President Carter administration as a staffer for urban policy and later assistant director for urban affairs. Kaptur serves as Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development.
Dayton Mayor Nanette (Nan) Whaley (D) stepped into the spotlight and became a national voice for gun control following the tragic 2019 mass shooting in the Oregon District of Dayton.
Whaley threw her hat in the ring as a Democratic primary contender for governor in 2018, later withdrawing and supporting Democratic candidate Richard Cordray. Whaley announced in early January she would not seek re-election to the mayor’s seat, saying that Dayton had turned a corner.
Whaley took to Twitter to indicate her consideration for the 2020 senate race.
Thank you all for the encouraging words! Today's news is another reminder how competitive Ohio will be next year. While I'm still deciding what I will do next, I hope you'll support us as we do everything we can do to support Democrats in 2022. https://t.co/mx9zrvbSsB
— Nan Whaley (@nanwhaley) January 25, 2021
Former Director of the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), and current Director of Human:Kind at the Columbus Foundation Amy Acton, according to several news outlets, is interested in the Democratic nomination.
Acton walked away from her ODH Director role in June and in August 2020.
Acton was a grassroots activist for the Obama campaign in 2008 while also a part-time doctor. Later, she was a community research and grants management officer at the Columbus Foundation where one report indicates she specialized in homeless youth.
Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley (D) was first elected to lead The Queen City in 2013 and won re-election in 2017. Cranley served the Cincinnati City Council from 2000 – 2009. An attorney and co-founder of the Ohio Innocence Project, Cranley has twice (’00 and ’06) been the Democratic candidate for the U.S. House.
Former Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman (D) initially said he would consider entering the contest but on Wednesday Coleman tweeted he would not run, but instead he would weigh the candidates and choose one for which to advocate.
After serious consideration and discussion with my family, we have decided that I will NOT run for the US SENATE. I appreciate the outpouring of support. I will weigh in on a Senate candidate and advocate for good public policy to benefit all Ohioans.
— Mike Coleman (@MichaelBColeman) February 3, 2021
U.S. Rep Joyce Beatty (D-OH-3) has represented Ohio in Congress since 2013. She serves as Vice Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. Previously, Beatty was a member of the Ohio House of Representatives from 1999 until she termed out in 2008. The Congresswoman was a vocal and physical presence during the summer riots around the Ohio Statehouse – becoming violent herself after taking a swing at an officer.
She announced on Twitter that she is considering but has not announced a decision.
Like many, I was surprised by Sen. Portman’s announcement today, and I am beyond flattered by all the calls, texts, and letters of support. /1
— Joyce Beatty (@JoyceBeatty) January 26, 2021
Ohio Representative Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) is minority leader of the Ohio House of Representatives where she has been a member since 2015. Publicly, she has neither declared nor denied interest in entering the race.
Former Ohio Democratic Party Chair David Pepper assumed the role of the left’s top party spot in 2015, stepping down at the end of 2020. He is an attorney and a former unsuccessful candidate for Cincinnati Mayor, Ohio Auditor and Ohio Attorney General (an election he lost to Mike DeWine in 2014). Pepper was a Hamilton County Commissioner and member of Cincinnati City Council.
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Jack Windsor is Statehouse Reporter at The Ohio Star. Windsor is also an independent investigative reporter. Follow Jack on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Rep. Tim Ryan” by Tim Ryan.