Former Vice President Mike Pence took the plunge: he declared his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024 in a bid to unseat his former boss, Donald Trump.
Pence’s decision to compete against the former president is an act of significant political courage in the face of wide speculation that Trump may put his name forward for a second time. The former vice president’s announcement comes in the midst of a Republican primary field that is already crowded with potential candidates, including Florida Governor Ron Desantis, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, and several others.
Pence had previously refrained from wading into the 2024 presidential race, but in recent weeks, he has become more vocal about his potential candidacy. His decision comes at a time when the Republican Party appears to be in disarray, with a growing split among the party’s moderate and MAGA wings.
The fact that Pence will now compete against Trump and other high-profile candidates, however, has the potential to reshape the race significantly. Pence served as Trump’s vice president for four tumultuous years, and could potentially play a role in influencing the direction of the party now that he is no longer tethered to Trump himself.
Ultimately, it remains to be seen whether Pence’s bid will be successful, or if the other Republican hopefuls will be able to outpace him in the primaries. He has his work cut out for him, but his background within the party and his careful stewardship under Trump—a period during which he single-handedly kept Trump’s worst impulses in check—could give him a political edge. All eyes will be on him to see if he can make his mark in a hotly contested party race.