Stivers confirmed to POLITICO that he would not be running for Senate. He had been seriously considering a bid and had raised nearly $1.4 million in the first quarter of this year in anticipation of a potential run. A handful of Republicans are already running in the crowded primary to replace retiring GOP Sen. Rob Portman, and several others are considering bids.
News of Stivers’ decision was first reported by Punchbowl News.
His departure will create a special election in a deep-red seat in central Ohio that backed former President Donald Trump by double-digit margins in both 2016 and 2020. It is not likely to be a competitive race, though Stivers’ departure will ease some concern by Democratic leaders over their narrow majority, which has been thinned further by other vacancies. The House is currently split between 218 Democrats and 212 Republicans. There are five vacancies, four of which were created by the departures of Democratic members.
Ohio is already hosting another special congressional election to fill the seat of former Rep. Marcia Fudge, now secretary of Housing and Urban Development for President Joe Biden. That race isn’t taking place until November, with primaries in August.