In a move that pits him against his former boss, ex-Vice President Mike Pence has officially declared his intention to run for the Republican nomination in the 2024 US presidential race. The 63-year-old’s campaign submitted a declaration of candidacy to the Federal Election Commission, with a formal launch expected in Iowa on Wednesday.
Pence, a firm social conservative and evangelical Christian, has been distancing himself from former President Donald Trump, particularly after refusing Trump’s demands to overturn the 2020 election results in his capacity as president of the Senate. The former Indiana governor now enters a crowded and ever-expanding field of Republican contenders, including Trump, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Senator Tim Scott, and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley.
“The number of candidates vying for the nomination concerns many Trump opponents inside the Republican Party who fear the anti-Trump vote could be split, handing the party’s nomination to the former president.”
Other potential candidates include North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, who is reportedly planning to announce his candidacy on Wednesday, and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who is expected to enter the race on Tuesday. This brings the total number of Republican candidates into double digits.
Over the past two years, Pence has been visiting early-nominating states such as Iowa and New Hampshire to solidify his political vision as a “Christian, conservative, Republican – in that order.” He positions himself as a traditional Republican, focusing on fiscal responsibility and family values, while promising to deliver Trump’s economic policies without the accompanying drama. Pence has also shown strong support for Ukraine and has not ruled out reducing welfare payments.
However, critics question whether Pence can find a dedicated base in a party that seems to be more interested in populism and cultural politics than traditional conservatism.
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