Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, who was former President Donald J. Trump’s foremost defender in his House impeachment proceedings, has decided not to run for an open seat being vacated by the retirement of a fellow Republican, Senator Rob Portman, in 2022, an aide said Thursday.
“Mr. Jordan believes that at this time he is better suited to represent Ohioans in the House of Representatives, where, as the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, he can advance an America first agenda, promote conservative values and hold big government accountable,” Russell Dye, a spokesman for Mr. Jordan’s congressional campaign, said.
Mr. Jordan’s high-profile defense of Mr. Trump made him widely considered to be the Republican with the best chance to win Ohio’s 2022 Senate primary. While more than a half-dozen other Ohio Republicans are weighing Senate bids to replace Mr. Portman, none has the national profile or Trump bona fides of Mr. Jordan, who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom five days after the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.
Mr. Jordan has long had ambitions to lead House Republicans and has hoped to become speaker if his party takes a majority in the chamber following the 2022 elections. But the conservative firebrand lost a bid for minority leader to Representative Kevin McCarthy of California following the 2018 elections.
Mr. Jordan’s decision not to run was first reported by The Plain Dealer of Cleveland.
No major candidate has formally entered Ohio’s 2022 Senate race since Mr. Portman’s Monday announcement that he would not seek a third term. But Republicans said to be weighing a bid include Josh Mandel, the former state treasurer who lost a 2012 race to Senator Sherrod Brown; Frank LaRose, Ohio’s secretary of state; J.D. Vance, the Ohio-born author of “Hillbilly Elegy”; Jane Timken, the Ohio Republican Party chairwoman; and several members of Ohio’s congressional delegation. Two other Ohio Republicans, Jon A. Husted, the state’s lieutenant governor, and former Representative Pat Tiberi, have said they will not run for Senate.
Ohio Democrats who have expressed interest in running for the Senate include Representative Tim Ryan, who was among the early field of candidates vying to unseat Mr. Trump in 2020; Mayor Nan Whaley of Dayton, who is also considering running for governor in 2022; and Dr. Amy Acton, the former director of the Ohio Department of Health, who received encouragement on Twitter from Connie Schultz, Mr. Brown’s wife.
Mr. Portman is one of three Republican senators who has said he will not seek re-election in 2022. Senators Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania and Richard M. Burr of North Carolina are also retiring, leaving the party to defend three seats in what are expected to be competitive states next year. That list could grow. Senator Ron Johnson, of Wisconsin, has not yet said whether he will seek a third term, nor has Senators Chuck Grassley of Iowa, who is 87, or Richard Shelby of Alabama, who is 86.
Senators Mark Kelly of Arizona and Raphael Warnock of Georgia — two Democrats who joined the chamber after winning special elections — will face voters again in 2022 for full six-year terms.