Acton referenced a possible bid amid her announcement Thursday that she was stepping down as vice president of The Columbus Foundation, a charitable group.
“In recent weeks, there has been much speculation about my possible interest in running for the United States Senate in 2022,” said Acton, a Democrat who worked closely with her state’s Republican governor, Mike DeWine.
“Many Ohioans have shared with me their concerns and the daily challenges they face,” she said. “They have expressed a need for a new approach that can help them, and their communities thrive. I am humbled by the outpouring of interest and support. For that reason, I am stepping down from my role at The Columbus Foundation in order to carefully consider how I can best be of service at this crucial time. Whatever my decision, I know with absolute certainty I won’t stop working to provide healing and hope to all Ohioans.”
Acton resigned as health director in June after her stay-at-home orders to stem the coronavirus crisis sparked threats and protests, including armed protesters carrying signs with antisemitic messages outside her home.
Rob Portman, the incumbent Republican senator, is retiring, reportedly in part because of the difficulties of functioning as a moderate Republican in the wake of Donald Trump’s control of the party. Rep. Jim Jordan, a pro-Trump firebrand in Congress, also is reportedly considering a run.