Republican Rep. Steve Stivers of Ohio announced Monday on Twitter that he is leaving Congress next month to become the president and CEO of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, giving the GOP at least temporarily one fewer vote in the narrowly divided House of Representatives.
“Throughout my career in public service I’ve worked to promote policies that drive our economy forward, get folks to work, and put our country’s fiscal house in order,” Stivers said in his statement. “That is why I am looking forward to this new opportunity with the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, where I can continue my efforts to support free enterprise and economic growth here in Ohio.”
Currently the House balance is 218 Democrats and 212 Republicans with five vacancies. With Stivers leaving, Republicans would have 211. A date for a special election to fill the seat has yet to be determined.
Stivers was previously chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, the House GOP campaign arm.
Stivers’ new position at the Ohio Chamber of Commerce also essentially rules out the possibility that Stivers would enter the competitive Republican primary for the US Senate seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Rob Portman. That is expected to be one of the most hotly contested Senate contests of the next campaign cycle.
This story is breaking and will be updated.