Portman could seek NRSC chairmanship

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), one of Mitt Romney’s closest allies in the past year, is considering a bid for the chairmanship of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

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A source close to Portman said he has been receiving calls over the past few weeks asking him to run. Portman is flattered by the attention but has not made any decision, according to the source.

If Portman decides to pursue the post, it sets up a leadership race with Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), who has been quietly lobbying his colleagues for the job.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) reportedly wanted rising-star freshman Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) to take over the NRSC, but Rubio is not interested.

A source close to Rubio said it is not likely that Rubio will make a play to succeed outgoing NRSC Chairman John Cornyn (R-Texas), who is running to become Senate Republican whip.