The candidates who would challenge Trump

Popular governors, influential senators, former members of your cabinet, including your former vice president: several GOP figures could challenge Donald Trump in the next race for the White House.

The former president announced on Tuesday that he would seek a new term in 2024. Though he remains wildly popular with his supporters, his aura has faded after many of his favorites were defeated in the midterm elections. And many are looking at alternatives ahead of the Republican primaries.

Here are the billionaire’s potential rivals, none of whom have officially entered the race yet:

Ron DeSantis

At 44, the governor of Florida is the rising star of the far right.

In 2018 he was chosen to govern this southern US state after being supported by Trump, whose ideas he shares but not his excesses. Since then, he’s distanced himself and gained popularity by keeping Florida open during the pandemic and multiplying ultra-conservative jabs on education or immigration.

In the midterm elections, he was re-elected more than 20 points ahead of his Democratic rival. “For me, the fight is just beginning,” he said later, fueling speculation.

Trump said he would not wear gloves in duels and nicknamed him “Ron De-Prude” (“Ron DeSanctimonius”), detracting from his election victory.

Mike Pence

After years of unwavering loyalty to Trump, his former vice president changed his tune following the Jan. 6, 2021, storming of the Capitol by Trump militants. That day Mike Pence called the president’s words “reckless” and accused him of having “put him in danger”. Trump had insisted that Pence refuse to certify Joe Biden’s electoral victory in Congress. This 63-year-old evangelical Christian, a staunch opponent of abortion, seems determined to run.

Glen Youngkin

Businessman Glenn Youngkin, 55, managed to wrest Virginia’s governorship from Democrats in 2021 and has since pursued classic right-wing politics (lower taxes, extra police funding), coupled with controversial measures on transgender people or anti-racism programs in schools.

Other possible candidates

Former South Carolina Governor and former US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, 50, may be one of the few women embarking on the Republican primary. South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, 57, dreams of being the first black Republican president. The names of the governors of Maryland, Larry Hogan, and of New Hampshire, Chris Sununu, as well as that of former New Jersey governor Chris Christie are also mentioned.

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