CLEVELAND, Ohio – Republican Attorney General Dave Yost announced Monday he would not run for the open U.S. Senate seat in 2022, instead seeking re-election to his current post.
Yost’s decision marks another high-profile potential candidate to take a pass on trying to replace outgoing Republican Sen. Rob Portman, with Lt. Gov. Jon Husted announcing last week he would also seek re-election. Yost is currently in his first term as attorney general.
“I noted several years ago that I feel as if I have been preparing all my life to serve as Attorney General. I love this State, I love the work and I love the people with whom I work,” Yost said in a series of tweets. “After much consultation, thought and prayer, I’ve decided to run for re-election as Attorney General, and not the US Senate.”
Yost told reporters Monday that the “primary reason” for his decision is that remaining attorney general would allow him to do more good for Ohio than running for Senate.
“I’ve concluded that it makes more sense for me to run for re-election, to focus on this job — that I have (a) greater impact here that I could on the back bench of the United States Senate,” Yost said during a news conference announcing an agreement with FirstEnergy Corp. to end a controversial policy allowing the utility to collect millions from ratepayers.
“I just don’t see those kind of opportunities for one member of the United States Senate,” Yost said, referring to the FirstEnergy agreement.
Yost also said he spoke with Portman about his reasons for not seeking re-election.
“Based on his first-hand accounts, Washington just doesn’t sound like a terribly healthy place to go to work right now,” Yost said.
Portman said one week ago that he would not seek a third term, citing a disdain for partisan gridlock, setting off a mad dash by the GOP to figure out who will jump in as his likely successor. Just about every name in Republican politics has expressed interest, although nobody has officially announced.
Among the names of Republicans considering running are Ohio Republican Party Chairman Jane Timken, former Treasurer Josh Mandel, Rep. Bill Johnson, Rep. Brad Wenstrup and former Rep. Jim Renacci.
On the Democratic side, former Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton, Rep. Tim Ryan and Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley are either rumored to be or openly interested.