Geraldo Rivera ‘Pondering’ Race for Portman’s Senate Seat in Ohio

Geraldo Rivera, the longtime TV correspondent and Fox News contributor, tweeted Wednesday that he is “pondering running” for GOP Sen. Rob Portman’s seat in Ohio.

Rivera told Mediaite on Wednesday after the tweet that if he runs, he’ll campaign as a Republican in the 2022 race.

Portman announced earlier this year that he will not seek reelection in 2022 because of the partisan gridlock in Washington, D.C., and said Wednesday he is confident Ohio will elect another Republican to replace him, as the state has “gotten more and more red.”

“I think we’ll have a lot of really good Republican candidates in the primary,” Portman told CNBC. “Already, seven or eight of them said they’re interested. All of them will be able to win a primary, a general election.”

Rivera, 77, lives in Shaker Heights, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland, where he moved in 2017 with his wife, Erica Levy, a Cleveland native.

On Wednesday, he told The Plain Dealer in Cleveland that he is serious about a potential campaign and will be traveling around the state in upcoming weeks to get feedback about running and that he and his wife, a Democrat, will be talking it over more. 

Rivera, who gained fame starting in the 1970s as a nationally-known correspondent, said that if he runs, he will self-fund at least the beginning of his race. 

He also said he sees his viewpoint to be similar to that of Ohio GOP Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, who has come under fire for voting to impeach former President Donald Trump. 

Rivera told The Plain Dealer that he considers Trump a friend, but he disapproves of his actions after the 2020 election and that he would be focused on unifying Republicans as well as bringing in new voters.

“He’s been a friend of mine forever,” he said. “I have been very public in my disapproval of his actions post-election and certainly condemn in the most vigorous way what happened on Jan. 6.”

However, he said he thinks Trump is “not only redeemable but he’s a force of nature who has been a lifelong friend in my adult life. I would expect he would approve of this. We can resolve our issues and help heal the Republican Party.”

Rivera added that he and his wife admire Portman, but he also complimented Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and former Gov. John Kasich, a Republican who is often slammed for his anti-Trump stance. 

He said if he runs, he’ll take ideas from all sides of politics in Ohio and create a platform that would attract minority voters. 

While he has national name recognition, Rivera is likely to face tough GOP challenges in the state, including from former state Republican Party Chairman Jane Timken and ex-Treasurer Josh Mandel who both have already announced their intentions to run.

Meanwhile, Democrat Rep. Tim Ryan and ex-Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Action, whose name became known statewide in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, are also reportedly planning to run for the seat. 

Rivera also considered a bid for the Senate in 2013 to represent New Jersey but ended up not running. That race ended up going to Democrat Sen. Cory Booker. 

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