Kansan Jerry Moran looks set to assume the chairmanship of the National Republican Senatorial Committee now that Ohioan Rob Portman has decided not to seek the opening.
Portman considered seeking the post after colleagues encouraged him to do so, a GOP Senate aide said. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky raised the prospect with Portman, but Portman decided to focus on broader issues, sources said.
Moran, who already claimed that he had the votes to lock up the post before Portman's announcement, is now the only declared candidate. Senate Republicans seem set to avoid any contested leadership elections in secret-ballot, closed-door votes scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Wednesday. Senate Democrats do not expect any contested races either.
Both sides are returning their leadership teams essentially intact. On the GOP side, Texan John Cornyn is set to replace retiring Arizonan Jon Kyl as minority whip.