ST. CLAIRSVILLE - U.S. Sen. Rob Portman was on presumed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's short-list of candidates for a running mate, but he will remain in the Senate after Romney selected U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan for the vice president's spot Saturday.
Portman, R-Ohio, released a statement supporting the Republican presidential ticket.
"Mitt Romney has made a great choice in Paul Ryan," Portman said.
"He is an accomplished public servant and a leading voice on the most pressing issues facing our country. Paul is one of my best friends in Congress, and someone I have worked closely with as a former colleague on the House Ways and Means Committee.
"(Wife) Jane and I wish Paul and Janna and their kids the very best. As the chairman of the Romney campaign in Ohio, I look forward to working with Paul to ensure that the Romney-Ryan ticket carries Ohio and is victorious in November. Most importantly, as a member of the Senate, I look forward to working closely with a Romney-Ryan Administration to restore fiscal sanity and enact pro-growth policies to create jobs."
Republican House members working alongside Ryan in the U.S. House expressed confidence in him as a vice presidential candidate.
"Having served with Paul in the House, I know how committed he is to confronting and solving the very real fiscal and economic challenges that America faces," said Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio. "Paul has not been afraid to lead on difficult issues - a quality sorely lacking in the current administration.
"The House's loss of Paul Ryan as the chairman of the Budget Committee will be America's gain in helping Gov. Romney address our crippling debt, put Americans back to work, and move our nation forward. I applaud Gov. Romney in making an excellent choice for America's next vice president."
Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., agreed Romney made the correct choice in Ryan.
"I have the utmost respect for my colleague and friend Paul Ryan, who will be an outstanding candidate that's already offered serious reforms to both grow our economy and balance the budget," she said. "Ryan's plan is a starting point for debate and discussion on how to eliminate our more than $16 trillion national debt in absence of any real solutions from President Obama."
Patrick Morrisey, Republican candidate for West Virginia attorney general, previously served as deputy staff director and chief health care counsel to the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
"As someone who has worked with Paul Ryan on a number of health care and budget issues over the years, I couldn't be more proud of this pick," Morrisey said. "Paul Ryan has the vision, principles, and knowledge needed to be a terrific vice president.
"The selection of Paul Ryan is also a big win for the state of West Virginia. The Romney-Ryan ticket understands that you can't create jobs by having the federal government issue one job-killing regulation after another. The Obama Administration, and his allies like Attorney General McGraw, have failed West Virginia and seek to consign our state to economic and political serfdom. By picking Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney has shown he will prioritize job growth and focus on reducing regulatory burdens that harm West Virginia. West Virginians should be very pleased with Paul Ryan's record, principles, and vision for our state and country."
Belmont County Republican Party Chairman Diana Kennon had wanted the Ohioan Portman to be the vice presidential pick. But also an accountant, Kennon said she was also pleased in the selection of Ryan, chairman of the House Committee on the Budget.
"Knowing Portman, I wanted him to be the pick - but I'm not disappointed," she said. "Paul Ryan also is a good choice. "The biggest problem we have facing our nation is our expanding deficit. He seems to have a great understanding (that something needs to be done), and he will be an excellent edition to the ticket. He is very bold."