Ohio Senator Rob Portman on Tuesday
said that he has decided not to run for president in 2016.
“While I appreciate the encouragement
I have received from many to run for president, my focus will remain
in Ohio and running for re-election to the Senate in 2016,” Portman
said in a statement.
“That's where I believe I can play
the most constructive role,” he added. “I don't think I can run
for president and be an effective senator at the same time.”
The 58-year-old Portman last year
became the first sitting GOP senator to endorse marriage equality.
In an op-ed and later in interviews
with CNN and the AP, Portman, a co-sponsor of the Defense of Marriage
Act (DOMA), said that he had dropped his opposition to marriage
equality after his son, Will Portman, told him and his wife Jane that
Last month, the National Organization
for Marriage (NOM) pledged to target Portman for defeat in 2016.
“Rob Portman can forget about getting
elected President of the United States,” NOM President Brian Brown
said. “If he runs we will make sure that GOP primary voters are
aware of his desire to redefine marriage and his willingness to see
federal judges set aside the votes of 50 million Americans who
enacted marriage amendments across the country because his son is
“We intend to oppose Sen. Portman for
reelection, and if he survives a primary challenge we will urge
Republicans and Independents to refuse to vote for him in the General
Election,” he added.