Rep. Paul D. Ryan announced Monday that he will not seek the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, saying his job as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee deserves his "undivided attention."
"It's clear our country needs a change in direction. And our party has a responsibility to offer a real alternative," the Wisconsin Republican said in a statement. "So I'm going to do what I can to lay out conservative solutions and to help our nominee lead us to victory."
In 2012, Ryan was tapped as Mitt Romney's vice presidential pick. Before becoming chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee -- a post Ryan had sought as he pursues an overhaul to the nation’s tax code -- he served as chairman of the House Budget Committee.
Ryan’s announcement ends the possibility of an intrastate rivalryfor the GOP presidential nomination as Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker weighs a potential run for the White House. But the race, which remains in the early stages, could see in-state rivals from Texas and Florida square off. In Texas, Gov. Rick Perry and Sen. Ted Cruz are exploring potential runs, while in Florida former Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio may also seek the nomination.
Last week, Romney, who has run for president twice, told donors in a closed-door meeting that he was seriously considering another run for the White House in 2016. In addition to his 2012 run, Romney unsuccessfully sought the GOP nomination in 2008.
The list of potential 2016 GOP presidential candidates is long. It includes New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who this month ended his Fox News show to “gauge support” for a second presidential run.
In his statement, Ryan, who is serving his ninth term in the House, thanked his supporters.
"Their words and continued support have been deeply humbling,” he said. “And most of all I want to thank the people of Wisconsin for giving me the opportunity to serve our country."
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