GOP Rep. Steve Stivers plans to retire

The Hill
The Hill

Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) announced on Monday that he plans to retire in May to accept a position as president and CEO of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.

"For the past decade, it has been my honor and privilege to serve the people of Ohio's 15th Congressional District. Throughout my career, I've worked to promote policies that drive our economy forward, get folks to work, and put our fiscal house in order," Stivers, 56, wrote on Twitter.

Stivers said his last day in Congress will be May 16.

"I'm excited to announce that I will be taking on a new opportunity that allows me to continue to do that. Effective May 16, I will be leaving Congress in order to accept the position of President and CEO of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce," he added.

Stivers had been considered a potential Senate candidate to replace outgoing Ohio Sen. Rob Portman (R).

Stivers, who chaired the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) during the first two years of former President Donald Trump ’s tenure in the White House, has represented Ohio’s 15th District, which includes parts of Columbus, since 2011.

His early retirement is likely to set off a special election to replace him. It would be the state’s second special election of 2021. Voters in Ohio’s 11th District are set to choose the successor to former Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) in November. Fudge stepped down from her seat last month after she was confirmed as President Biden ’s secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Ohio’s 15th District is considered relatively safe for Republicans. Stivers won reelection last year by a nearly 27-point margin, while Trump carried the district by 14 points last year.

But Stivers’s decision to leave public office shakes up the state’s closely watched Senate race. The six-term congressman was seen as a potential hopeful for the GOP nomination for Portman’s seat and would have entered the contest as a top-tier candidate.

The Republican Senate field in Ohio is emerging as a crowded one. Among the candidates who have already jumped into the race are former state Treasurer Josh Mandel, former Ohio GOP chair Jane Timken, GOP fundraiser Mike Gibbons and businessman Bernie Moreno.

Several others are still considering whether to run, including Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio) and author and venture capitalist J.D. Vance.

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