Hillary Clinton helping Dems make 2022 moves, urges Ohio liberal to flip Senate seat

Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has joined the calls for Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan to run for Ohio’s Senate seat in 2022.

Following this weeks announcement by Republican Sen. Rob Portmant hat he will not be seeking re-election once his term is up next year, Democrats have been strategizing how best flip the seat blue and gain a stronger majority lead in the Senate.

Ryan said he has not made up his mind on whether he will run, but told MSNBC Saturday that he’s “looking closely” at the idea.

His comment was applauded by Chair of the Ohio Democratic Women’s Caucus, Kathy DiCristofaro, who said, “Ohio needs leaders like [Tim Ryan] to fight for working people. I’m all In!” 

Clinton threw her support behind the Ohio congressmen by adding, “You’re right, Kathy!”

“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,” Ryan said in a tweet Monday. “Ohio deserves leaders who fight for working people.”

Ryan led a short presidential campaign in 2019, pitting himself against more liberal candidates like Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vt., and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., by presenting himself as a moderate.

But he was unable to gain much traction against the big political names and ended his campaign by Oct. 2019. 

Though he won re-election for Ohio’s 13th Congressional District in November, it may not be enough to win a statewide election that voted for President Trump twice.

Despite several key states flipping blue in the last presidential election and electing President Biden, Ohio held onto to their red streak – which Trump flipped in 2016, after the Buckeye state voted for President Obama during both his presidential runs.

The outgoing Republican senator, noted the political polarization in the U.S., which could prove a challenging obstacle for a politician attempting to run as a moderate Democrat.

“We live in an increasingly polarized country where members of both parties are being pushed further to the right and further to the left, and that means too few people who are actively looking to find common ground,” Portman said. “This is not a new phenomenon, of course, but a problem that has gotten worse over the past few decades.”

Portman has served as a Ohio senator since 2010, and was in the House of Representatives for another 12 years prior to that. 

Several GOP officials have likewise looked to Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, to fill Portman’s seat, as several key GOP members are expected to leave the Senate in 2022, including Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Penn.

But a spokesperson for Jordan told Fox News Thursday that the congressmen has no intention of leaving his post.

“Congressman Jordan is honored by the overwhelming encouragement he has received to run for the United States Senate. However, he is solely focused on representing the great people of Ohio’s Fourth District, and will not be running to fill the seat of retiring Senator Rob Portman,” the spokesperson said.

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“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,” they added.

Brooke Singman contributed to this report. 

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