Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, announced Tuesday that he intends to seek re-election to his Senate seat and will not run for president in 2016.
In a statement, Portman said he was excited about the prospect of finally being in the majority - a new experience for the first-term senator, who was elected in 2010 - and did not feel he could accomplish what he wanted to in that chamber while also chasing votes in a presidential election.
"With the new Republican majority, I see a real opportunity over the next two years to break the gridlock in Washington and actually get things done to help Ohioans and all Americans. That's where I believe I can play the most constructive role. I don't think I can run for president and be an effective senator at the same time," he said.
He's eager to overhaul the tax code, reduce regulation, and increase exports, among other things. He'd also like to see the new Republican majority block the president if they feel he's overreached.
"I know it will not be easy to break the gridlock and make Washington work, but I'm excited to roll up my sleeves to make a difference for the people of Ohio and the country. While I appreciate the encouragement I have received from many to run for president, my focus will remain on Ohio and running for re-election to the Senate in 2016," he said.
He will formally announce his senate candidacy, next year, he said.
Even though he will not compete in what could be a crowded Republican primary contest, Portman would still be an attractive vice presidential pick for whomever secures the nomination. He hails from Ohio, a critical swing state and the site of the 2016 GOP convention, and he brings a depth of experience in government, including stints in the House of Representatives and former President George W. Bush's administration as U.S. Trade Representative and Director of the Office of Management and Budget.