One moved closer as another already moved out.
As former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush inched closer toward a run for the presidency this week, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman announced that he will not be a candidate and will seek reelection to the Senate in 2016.
“I don’t think I can run for president and be an effective senator at the same time,” Portman said, according to CNN. “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.”
Bush meanwhile said at an event in Washington that he is thinking of running for President and will make a decision “in short order.”
Bush has friends in New Hampshire, including Tom Rath, the veteran Concord attorney, former state Attorney General and long time GOP political strategist.
Rath said he “hopes he runs, but that is his deicsion and his decision alone. The center-right governing conservative space remains wide open for Jeb.”
“For the first time,” added a veteran New Hampshire GOP operative, “I think its more likely than not that Jeb Bush will run for President. It’s still a tossup, but the scales seem to be shifting towards a Bush candidacy.”
Rath, meanwhile, said he was “disappointed,” that Portman has decided against a presidential candidacy. He said Portman called him on Monday night “ and seemed to be very much at peace with his decision.”
Sen. Kelly Ayotte said, “I have tremendous respect for Rob Portman, and he would have been a very strong candidate for President. But I’m glad that he’ll continue serving in the Senate, where he brings significant expertise on budget issues and how we can create a better economic climate for job creation.”
Portman made two visit to the Granite State during the 2014 midterm campaign to help GOP Senate candidate Scott Brown. In his most recent visit in
Also on the presidential front, as the New Hampshire Journal first reported on Nov. 26, former Hewlett-Packard CEO and grassroots activist organizer Carly Fiorina, who is now considering running for President, will be in the state on Friday for a business event at the Manchester Country Club hosted by U.S. Rep.-elect Frank Guinta’s Independent Business Council of New Hampshire.
And, as the Journal reported on Monday, a group of Granite State Republican business leaders and activists are planning a visit to Austin, Texas, on Dec. 17 to meet with potential presidential candidate and Texas Gov. Rick Perry.