Rob Portman

Some Ohio members of the House and Senate will have their own guests in the House gallery tonight when President Obama delivers his State of the Union address.

And they weren’t chosen at random.

Both House Speaker John Boehner of West Chester and Ohio’s senior senator, Democrat Sherrod Brown, have invited guests who are there to make a point on public policy.

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.

Alright, let’s assume for the moment that Cincinnati does land the 2016 Republican presidential nominating convention.

What would the chances be that the eventual nominee of the GOP turns out to be from Ohio, the host state, or right across the river in Kentucky?

It’s a long shot, but by no means outside the realm of possibility.

Despite having an Electoral College map that works decidedly against them, the Republicans seemingly have more potential 2016 presidential contenders than Heinz has varieties.

Michael E. Keating

WVXU political reporter Howard Wilkinson talks with Maryanne Zeleznik about the chances of the 2016 Republican National Convention coming to Cincinnati, Rand Paul's support in the CPAC straw poll and how Paul will help the local GOP raise money in May.

Official Portrait

It is time to delay the health insurance sign-up under the Affordable Care Act until the multitude of computer glitches that have frustrated millions of Americans can be worked out, Sen. Rob Portman said in Cincinnati Thursday.

“I support repeal of the whole thing and replacing it with something that is better, but I do think that a delay is appropriate now,’’ the Republican senator from Terrace Park told reporters Thursday morning.

Official Portrait

Ohio's junior senator, Rob Portman of Terrace Park, took to the floor of the U.S. Senate Tuesday morning to say he would not vote to authorize the Obama administration's proposed use of military force against Syria.

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