Former Vice President Mike Pence announced his candidacy for the 2024 Republican presidential election on Monday, positioning himself as a contender against former President Donald Trump. The official declaration of candidacy was submitted by Pence’s campaign to the Federal Election Commission. According to three sources familiar with the matter, Pence will kick off his campaign with a video and a speech in Iowa, an early voting state, on Wednesday.
Pence’s decision to run places him in direct competition with Trump, who he had previously supported but refused to endorse during Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election results, which resulted in Democrat Joe Biden’s victory. As a staunch social conservative and former Indiana governor, Pence has distanced himself from Trump, expressing concerns over Trump’s role in inciting the January 6, 2021, Capitol attack that put Pence and his family at risk while they were present in the building.
Pence enters an expanding field of Republican contenders, including Trump, U.S. Senator Tim Scott, and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. Additionally, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum is reportedly planning to enter the race on Wednesday, according to a reliable source familiar with Burgum’s intentions.
On Tuesday, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced his entry into the race, adding to the growing list of Republican candidates. With his entry, the total number of Republican contenders reaches double digits. This increasing number of candidates has raised concerns among Trump critics within the Republican Party, as they worry that the anti-Trump vote could be divided, potentially resulting in the party’s nomination being secured by the former president.