The Greene County Republican Party Central Committee on Thursday passed on endorsing Ohio Senator Rob Portman, voting instead to back the campaign of Don Eckhart, a Christian conservative opposed to marriage equality.

In 2013, Portman announced that he supports his gay son's right to marry, infuriating conservatives such as Phil Burress, head of Citizens for Community Values, who vowed to derail his reelection to the Senate.

“Portman disappointed Christian conservatives when he flip-flopped on same-sex 'marriage,'” the group said in a press release touting Eckhart's endorsement. “Portman came out in favor of homosexual 'marriage' after getting elected on a conservative platform. As it turns out, voters do not like hypocrisy.”

Burress added: “There are three non-negotiables for social conservatives – life, marriage and religious liberty. On my scorecard Portman scores a “D” on life, “F” on marriage and “F” on religious liberty. Portman no longer deserves our support.”

The group conceded that Eckhart, a perennial candidate, was a protest candidate.