Of course, there is a big difference between saying you are considering running for office and actually filing the paperwork, doing the organizing and hiring staff.
Rivera told the Cleveland Plain Dealer that he plans to travel the state on a listening tour in the coming weeks to get feedback. Rivera, 77, is a longtime TV personality and talk host, and has appeared frequently on Fox News shows like The Five. He also hosts the radio show Geraldo in Cleveland.
Although Rivera said that he is a friend of Donald Trump, he was highly critical of Trump’s actions following the election.
“However, I think President Trump is not only redeemable, but he’s a force of nature who has been a lifelong friend in my adult life,” he told the Plain Dealer. “I would expect he would approve of this. We can resolve our issues and help heal the Republican Party.”
It’s expected that there will be a crowded field of Republicans seeking the nomination to fill the seat. Portman announced in January that he would not seek reelection next year.
Rivera became famous as an investigative correspondent for ABC News’ 20/20 and later hosted the daytime talk show Geraldo. He became a bit infamous for a 1986 syndicated The Mystery of Al Capone’s Vaults, a heavily promoted and highly rated special in which a sealed area below a Chicago hotel was opened live. But nothing was found.
Rivera would not be the first broadcaster to ponder a big for office. Figures such as Chris Matthews and Jerry Springer had considered runs in recent years, returning to previous political careers, but they ultimately decided against it. Al Franken followed up his gig as a radio host with a successful run for Senate in Minnesota, but resigned in 2018 amid allegations of groping women.