Rob Portman

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about the beginning stages of the 2016 U.S. Senate race in Ohio, the huge war chest of incumbent Rob Portman, and the Democrats who may try to take him on.

Ohio’s junior senator, Republican Rob Portman, fired a shot across the bow last week – a warning shot for anyone thinking about running against him in 2016.

His campaign committee put out a long statement saying that, as of the end of 2014, Portman had $5.8 million in the bank for his re-election campaign – a pretty incredible amount for 23 months before the election.

And the unspoken message was that he can get plenty more where that came from.

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with Maryanne Zeleznik Monday morning about Rob Portman's re-election chances and the passing of an Ohio political giant, former GOP chairman Bob Bennett.

Sen. Rob Portman threw a bucket of cold water on those who were hot to see him run for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination when he announced Monday that he would be running for re-election to a second term in the Senate instead.

Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, has put an end to speculation that he might run for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination by saying he will run for a second term in the Senate.

Portman, the 59-year-old first term senator from Terrace Park, had been mulling over the possibility of a 2016 run for the presidency for months, encouraged by political advisers and major GOP campaign contributors.

Portman told WVXU Tuesday that he is looking forward to being part of the new Republican majority in the Senate - a majority he helped create as the Senate GOP's chief fundraiser in 2014.

The buzz from Washington about Ohio’s junior senator, Rob Portman, running for the Republican presidential nomination has flared up again.

And the Terrace Park Republican has done nothing to put out the fire.

He is reportedly considering setting up a presidential exploratory committee sometime after the November election, using as seed money his Senate campaign fund, which will probably be about $6 million by the end of the year.

Ok, so Cleveland will host the 2016 Republican National Convention.

Hooray for you, Republicans in Cincinnati say wearily, after trying and failing to win the big prize for the Queen City.

Now, the question is, who will come out of that convention at the Quicken Loans Arena as the GOP nominees for president and vice president?

There is a possibility – slim, at this point, but a possibility – that the first presidential nominating convention to be held in Ohio in 80 years will nominate an Ohioan, either for president or vice president.

WVXU's political reporter, Howard Wilkinson, talks with Maryanne Zeleznik, about the possibility of U.S. Sen. Rob Portman as a presidential candidate in 2016.

Howard Wilkinson

There was no declaration of candidacy for president Friday night when Rand Paul appeared before a large crowd at the Hamilton County Republican Party’s Lincoln-Reagan Day dinner, but he sounded like a man who may well run.

And, before a crowd of over 600 at the Duke Energy Convention Center, the junior senator from Kentucky made it clear that if he does run and becomes the 2016 GOP nominee, he knows who his Democratic opponent will be – former secretary of state Hillary Clinton.

WVXU's politics reporter, Howard Wilkinson, talked with Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about the chances of an Ohio or Kentucky candidate being nominated for president if the GOP convention comes to Cincinnati in 2016. And, of course, a little baseball talk on the Reds' Opening Day.

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