Power brokers in Ohio are looking for business leaders to drive

Senator Rob Portman, a Republican from Ohio, talks to media members as he walks through the Senate subway at the US Capitol in Washington on Tuesday, January 26, 2021.

Sarah Silbiger | Bloomberg | Getty Images

A group of Ohio power brokers have reached out to business leaders across the state to try to recruit them to run for Republican Rob Portman’s Senate seat in 2022, in an effort to stop Trump contestants from winning that contest, according to People. know the matter.

Some of those who have started collaborating with potential candidates include donors and business types close to the former Republican government in Ohio. John Kasichsaid these people.

Kasich is one of the most prominent GOP critics of the previous president Donald Trump. He was one of a handful of Republicans presented at the Democratic National Congress this summer to support Joe Biden.

The possibility of trying to win a Republican primary in what appears to be a divided party leads some leaders to choose not to enter. Those who have been contacted on Republican and Democratic sides include the CEO of a central Ohio corporate group, a venture capitalist and a digital marketer.

Several people are hesitant to enter the race because a Republican primary will mean a fight for the party’s base and probably an approval of Trump himself. If he supports, Trump is likely to support someone who is more aligned with his agenda as opposed to a more traditional Republican.

House Freedom Caucus Member Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, will not run for Portman’s location, his office recently announced. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, of R-California, said in a statement on Thursday that after the meeting with Trump, the former president is “committed to helping elected Republicans in the House and Senate in 2022.”

GOP politicians with allegiance to Trump who reportedly are in the mix to possibly run include Rope. Steve Stivers and chairman Jane Timken of the Ohio Republican Party.

Political strategists say they are not surprised by the effort to find a business-oriented candidate. It is the latest signal that the Republican primary for Portman’s seat will be expansive.

“Will likely be a big field in the GOP primary, with choices of all ideological stripes,” Charlie Black, a former Kasich strategist, told CNBC. It is “to be expected,” Black said of the recruitment of business leaders, “but there will be conservative candidates who are not married to Trump.”

Portman announced on Monday that he will not seek re-election in 2022 because it has “become more and more difficult to break through the partisan network and make progress in material politics,” he said. Portman was a Republican lawmaker who voted to uphold the results of the Electoral College, which confirmed Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential election.

The leaders of Republican bands who have already experienced attempts to correct them in the race include Alex Fischer, president and CEO of the Columbus Partnership, and Mark Kvamme, a venture capitalist who has been in Ohio for over a decade, the celebrities said. .

Another executive who has emerged as a challenger on the Democratic side is Nancy Kramer, founder of the Ohio-based digital marketing agency Resource / Ammirati, said one of those people. Kramer’s company was acquired by IBM in 2016.

The Fischers Columbus Partnership is a corporate group for the city of Columbus and central Ohio. Fischer was too publicly credited helping to keep the MLS football team, the Columbus Crew, in town as they considered moving to Texas.

Kvamme and Fischer told CNBC that they are not interested in going to the Senate, even though they have been contacted. Kramer, who is currently on IBM iX in Columbus, did not return a request for comment.

“Yes, some have called me. I’m flattered,” Kvamme told CNBC. “Maybe I’ll get into the political arena someday, but my time is better spent showing my friends in California that Ohio and the Midwest are the next great place to create and build technology companies.”

Fischer, who was once deputy governor of Tennessee before moving to Ohio, said he is not interested in running despite discussion in political circles.

“No, I do not consider privately or place it in any other way. It is obvious that there is a lot of discussion in political circles,” Fischer told CNBC. “In my conversations, there is an increased frustration over the overall political environment, the inability to solve problems and to cooperate between political parties to work together. There is also a desire to see business leaders become more actively involved,” he added.

On the democratic side, Axios reported it Amy Acton, the former head of the Ohio Department of Health, can also be in the mix. Former Columbus Mayor Mike Coleman has said he is considering running. Rep. Tim Ryan, a former presidential candidate, has said he is “seriously looking” at driving.

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