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Ohio Sen. Rob Portman Will Not Seek GOP Nod for President in 2016

 / Updated 
Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, speaks at a GOP Get Out the Vote rally in Independence, Ohio Monday, Sept. 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)Mark Duncan / AP file

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The large Republican field for president just got a little smaller.

Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman announced he won't run for president in 2016. In a written statement late Monday night, Portman said that he doesn't believe he "can run for president and be an effective senator at the same time."

"While I appreciate the encouragement I have received from many to run for president, my focus will remain on Ohio and running for reelection to the Senate in 2016," he said. "With the new Republican majority, I see a real opportunity over the next two years to real the gridlock in Washington and actually get things done."

Portman, who represents the key swing state of Ohio, was considered a top vice presidential prospect during the 2012 campaign and didn't rule out running on a ticket as the eventual GOP nominee's pick for a running mate. Portman had hinted at interest in a White House run as early as last month, telling CNN "I probably have more experience than other people who are running or thinking about running."

The Ohio senator faced some opposition from socially conservative groups after becoming the first Republican senator to support same sex marriage. Portman announced his reversal on the issue in 2013 after learning that his son Will is gay.

IN-DEPTH:

—Carrie Dann and MSNBC's Kasie Hunt

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