Former Vice President Mike Pence has made it official, filing paperwork to declare his candidacy for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. This sets up a challenge to the sitting president and his former boss Donald Trump, whose tumultuous term ended with a deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
Pence, the country’s 48th Vice President, will launch his campaign with a video and event in Des Moines, Iowa, on Wednesday—the same day of Mike Pence’s 64th birthday—according to those close to his plans. He officially filed with the Federal Elections Commissions Monday morning.
Trump, who is leading the early fight for the nomination, is currently polling behind Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Pence’s supporters see a lane for the reliable conservative who drops many of the former administration’s policies but without the emotion.
Pence, who is against abortion rights and has spoken out against transgender–affirming policies in schools, has long touted the accomplishments of the “Trump–Pence administration” publicly. He plans to advocate for traditional Reagan–style conservatism, a break from Trump’s populist policies.
In addition, Pence believes the U.S. should offer more support to Ukraine against Russian aggression while reprimanding party members not willing to stand with the Russian leader.
In preparation for his anticipated run, Pence has held events in the early voting states, including Iowa, South Carolina, and New Hampshire, speaking at churches, delivering policy speeches, and meeting with donors.
He has also made headlines for distancing himself from the former president in the wake of the attack at the Capitol, calling Trump’s actions “dangerous” and saying the country is in search of steadier leadership.
Pence will be up against a crowded Republican field, including Trump, DeSantis, Ambassador Nikki Haley, Senator Tim Scott, Vivek Ramaswamy, and former Governor Asa Hutchinson.
Already known for his loyalty to the former president, only time will tell if Pence’s bid will hold up against the scrutiny of the Republican party and of his former boss. Trump’s tweets attacking Pence and calling him out of cowardice for not overturning the election’s results is an example of what he will be up against.
Regardless, Pence’s campaign is expected to have a large focus on town halls and retail stops to reintroduce the Vice President to voters less familiar with him.
Pence joins a field of those vying for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024. If he were to win the spot, he would be only the seventh Vice President elected as president before.