CLEVELAND — "Senator Geraldo"? Don't rule it out.
With rumors still swirling as to who might replace Rob Portman after he retires from the U.S. Senate, Geraldo Rivera says he is "pondering" throwing his hat into the ring come 2022. The veteran media personality and Northeast Ohio resident made his possible intentions public via Twitter, in an attempt to guage interest from citizens.
"From the Great River to the Great Lake, I'll fight for you," Rivera wrote while aligning himself with the Republican Party. Several of his tweets mentioned former President Donald Trump (whom Rivera considers a "dear friend") and also featured the hashtag #GoBuckeyes.
A native of Brooklyn, New York, Rivera has spent the last 50-plus years working for various outlets as a reporter, anchor, talk show host, and analyst. He has served in a number of roles for Fox News since 2001 and also hosts a one-hour daily radio talk show on Cleveland's WTAM 1100. He met his wife Erica in her native Shaker Heights, and the couple have lived there for years.
Watch Will Ujek's interview with Geraldo and Erica Rivera from back in 2019:
The 77-year-old Rivera has long been a Republican and supporter of Trump, qualities that have invited controversy over the years. However, he admitted he did not vote for Trump during his initial 2016 campaign and has also criticized the former president when he has felt it necessary, ultimately calling for his impeachment in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot.
This is not the first time Rivera has considered trying to become a senator; he previously floated the idea of running in New Jersey following the 2013 death of longtime Sen. Frank Lautenberg. However, he ultimately decided to stay out of the race, citing the state's heavy Democratic bent and the popularity of then-Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who eventually won.
Unlike Booker in 2013, there does not appear to be any clear-cut favorite in the race to succeed Portman. Former Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel and former state GOP Chair Jane Timken have already announced their candidacies for the Republican nomination, while Rep. Tim Ryan and former Ohio Health Director Dr. Amy Acton are considering entering the Democratic primary.