Handicapping the 2022 Ohio Senate Race

The Story:

One of Ohio’s two US Senate seats will be very much in play in the election campaign of 2022. Senator Rob Portman (R), who is concluding his second term, has announced that he will not seek a third. This means that there will be a fight among Republicans as to who will get that party’s nod to replace him, and probably a similar primary fight among Democrats, because the national party sees this as a good chance to pick up a seat in a chamber that is painfully, evenly, divided.


Looking chiefly at the Republican side of the equation, leading hypothetical contenders include Frank LaRose and Josh Mandel. LaRose is Ohio’s secretary of state, a post that brings with it responsibility for seeing to it that elections in state go smoothly. In 2020, LaRose got a lot of credit from informed observers for doing exactly that: for keeping the train on the figurative track. Mandel is a former state treasurer who has run for a Senate seat twice before, unsuccessfully.

The Thing to Know:

Portman has a reputation as a moderate Republican, rather than a conservative hard-liner. Whether either LaRose or Mandel will try to pick up that mantle is at this time not clear.


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