Portman won’t seek NRSC chair, clearing way for Moran

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) has decided not to pursue the chairmanship of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, paving the way for Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) to become its next head, two GOP aides confirmed to The Fix.

Moran has long expressed interest in the job and has said he has secured enough votes to get it, but Portman's name popped up last week.

Now, Portman has decided against challenging Moran for the post, the aides said.

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio). (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

The news was first reported by Roll Call.

Portman is expected to be in the mix for future presidential campaigns, and being NRSC chairman would have been a good way to build a fundraising network.

Instead, Portman seems content to build a name for himself as a legislator.

Portman would have been a more traditional pick for the committee, given he has raised much more money in his career than Moran has and has ties to a presidential administration (George W. Bush's). Generally, Senate and House committee chairmen are big-time fundraisers that come from big states, where they have cultivated extensive fundraising networks (New York, Texas, California, etc.).

Roll Call's Shira Toeplitz writes tonight about some grumbling over Moran's likely ascension.

On the Democratic side, Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) has reportedly been offered the job heading the DSCC after turning it down for the 2012 election cycle.

The map in 2014 provides plenty of opportunity for GOP gains, with nearly all the Republican-held seats that are up coming in red states.

But given last week's electoral losses, Republicans will likely need to pick up six seats to regain the majority, which is a very tall order.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.

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