Amy Acton, Ohio pandemic official who faced anti-Semitic backlash, considering a Senate run


(JTA) — Dr. Amy Acton, the Jewish Ohio Department of Health director who resigned after her pandemic shutdown orders sparked rage and an anti-Semitic backlash, is considering a Senate run.

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 anti-Semitic 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.

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