Voinovich Mulling Retirement

Posted January 9, 2009 at 11:23am

Updated: 2:41 p.m.

Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) is considering retirement, but his office confirmed he has not yet made a final decision about what he will do in 2010.

“For over 40 years, Sen. Voinovich has demonstrated a passion for public service,” said Chris Paulitz, a senior adviser to Voinovich. “He is thinking about the challenging situation in his beloved Buckeye State and the direction of the country, as well as what is best for his family. If he changes his mind about running, he will share that decision quickly with the people of Ohio — people he considers his second family.”

Voinovich has scheduled a conference call with his major campaign donors for Sunday night, when he will tell them about his plans for 2009 and 2010, a Cleveland Plain Dealer political blog reported Friday.

Party insiders say Voinovich’s decision has nothing to do with his re-election prospects. Not only will the 72-year-old Voinovich report having $2.7 million in his campaign fund next week, but internal polling also showed him with an approval rating of more than 50 percent last month.

If Voinovich retires, Republicans would likely look to former Rep. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) or former Sen. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) to run.

Whether or not Voinovich retires, Democrats will surely target the Buckeye State seat in 2010. Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) and Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher (D) are considered to be possible Senate candidates.