Geraldo Rivera confirms he is considering U.S. Senate run from Ohio

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FILE – In this Jan. 16, 2015, file photo, Geraldo Rivera participates in “The Celebrity Apprentice” panel at the NBC 2015 Winter TCA in Pasadena, Calif. Rivera says he has discussed the idea of raising the minimum age to purchase assault-type weapons with President Donald Trump, adding that Trump “took it under advisement.” (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Conservative commentator and native New Yorker Geraldo Rivera raised some eyebrows this week when he tweeted that he was considering a run for the U.S. Senate in Ohio.

It turns out he’s serious.

Rivera told Cleveland.com in an interview posted Wednesday that he is looking into running and will go around the state soon on a listening tour. He said he sees himself as more of a moderate Republican similar to current Sen. Rob Portman, who said he would not seek reelection in 2022.

“It’d scare the bejesus out of the Democrats and the far-right wing of the Republican Party,” Rivera told the website.

Rivera, 77, has been tweeting from Florida, but Cleveland.com said he has a residence in Ohio. He first indicated his interest in a tweet Wednesday that read, “Pondering running for [Portman’s] seat in United States Senate” with a #GoBuckeyes hashtag.

He followed it up with a second tweet with the hashtag #Geraldo4Ohio that read, “From the Great River to the Great Lake, I’ll fight for you.”

He also interacted with some Twitter users who responded to his posts, and he said that although he supported the ideas of former President Donald Trump, he did not support Trump’s objections to the election he lost to Joe Biden.

“Doesn’t fact Democrats were able to pass one of the largest spending bills in the history of the Republic with zero GOP support make you queasy?” Rivera tweeted in response of Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan that the House approved Wednesday.

Rivera would face former state treasurer Josh Mandel and former state party chairman Jane Timken in the Republican primary. Both have positioned themselves as Trump allies.

No Democrats have yet to formally declare, although Rep. Tim Ryan and former state health director Amy Acton are considering runs.

Rivera is a New York native, raised in Brooklyn and Suffolk County. He worked in New York in both local and national TV news before becoming a talk show host, and later a conservative commentator; he often appears on Fox News.

He also hosts a radio talk show for Cleveland’s WTAM-AM.

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