Nick Ayers a non-starter

Nick Ayers, right, listens as Supreme Court Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch waits for the arrival of the casket for former President George H.W. Bush to lie in State at the Capitol on Capitol Hill on Dec. 3. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via AP, Pool, File)

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s top pick to replace chief of staff John Kelly, Nick Ayers, was no longer expected to fill the role and several others were emerging as possible candidates.