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Ohio Sen. Rob Portman says he won't run for re-election in 2022

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, questions Homeland Security Secretary-designate Alejandro Mayorkas during a confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., last Tuesday. Photo by Joshua Roberts/UPI/Pool
Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, questions Homeland Security Secretary-designate Alejandro Mayorkas during a confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., last Tuesday. Photo by Joshua Roberts/UPI/Pool | License Photo

Jan. 25 (UPI) -- Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio announced Monday that he won't run for re-election in 2022.

Portman, now in his second term, cited "partisan gridlock" in Congress as a reason for his decision to leave the Senate.

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"I don't think any Senate office has been more successful in getting things done, but honestly, 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," Portman said in a lengthy statement.

"I feel fortunate to have been entrusted by the people of Ohio to represent them in the U.S. Senate. Today, I am announcing that I have made a decision not to run again in 2022.

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"I still have two more years in my term and I intend to use that time to get a lot done."

Portman told the Cincinnati Inquirer that he blames former President Donald Trump for contributing to the partisan gridlock, and added that he hasn't yet decided how he will vote at the Senate's impeachment trial -- which will officially begin Monday, although the substance of the trial won't start until Feb. 8.

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Portman was first elected to the Senate in 2010 and re-elected in 2016. He said that during his time in office, Trump signed 82 of his bills into law and former President Barack Obama signed 68.

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"During my service in the senate, I am proud of what we've been able to accomplish for Ohio and the country," Portman said in his statement. "I have consistently been named one of the most bipartisan senators. I am proud of that and will continue to reach out to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to find common ground."

"I am hopeful that President Biden will follow through on his inaugural pledge to work across the aisle, and I am prepared to work with him and his administration if he does," he added.

"I hope the administration will work with us on a more targeted approach that will focus on things like vaccine distribution, testing and getting kids back to school."

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Before his election to the Senate, Portman served as White House budget chief and U.S. trade representative under former President George W. Bush. He also represented Ohio in the House from 1993 to 2005.

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