On Tuesday evening, former President Donald Trump filed the formal paperwork and made a long-awaited announcement regarding his intentions to run for the White House in 2024.
While he settled the issue of whether he would run, new questions emerged.
One of those is who Trump might choose as his running mate.
The Republican bench for 2024 is more profound than ever, offering several great choices for the vice president role. However, one person in particular might be emerging as a potential early contender for the No. 2 spot on the ticket.
On Wednesday, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds was elected as the chairwoman of the Republican Governors Association, replacing Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey.
The RGA is excited to announce that our Iowa 👸 is the new chair of @GOPGovs.
We’re excited and ready for your leadership 🇺🇸🐘 pic.twitter.com/rYtewips72
— The RGA (@GOPGovs) November 17, 2022
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee will serve as vice chairman, according to Axios.
Both governors are Trump-endorsed Republicans who easily won re-election last week.
Having someone like Reynolds leading a significant influencing body of the GOP could help buoy Trump’s leadership role in the party when it seems he might need it most, especially in the coming months and years.
Politico reported last year that according to an unnamed Trump adviser, the former president is likely to choose a running mate “from three general lanes of candidates: women, conservatives of color or a trusted adviser.”
Trump is well known for presenting his most loyal political allies with the top jobs, and Reynolds certainly fits that bill.
According to a 2021 article in The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Bob Vander Plaats, CEO of the Christian conservative organization the Family Leader, believes Reynolds would make an excellent choice for the former president’s running mate.
“As a matter of fact, I think she would be a great presidential candidate right now,” Vander Plaats said. “She has a lot of stock across the country of how she has led during COVID, how she has led through the racial unrest and a lot of other things.”
“Iowa in many ways has been a model. I watched her on Laura Ingraham’s [Fox News] show with five different governors, and she just stood out,” he continued. “So I think Gov. Reynolds — obviously, it’s up to her, she’s not going to run for president — but she would make a very compelling VP choice.”
In February, a Washington Post column described Reynolds as a possible “Republican star on the rise.”
The Iowa governor has taken the lead on several pressing issues facing the nation, including the illegal immigration crisis, which affects Iowa and every other state as millions of illegals pour across the nation’s southern border and disappear on American soil, often bringing in deadly drugs such as fentanyl.
“Families also have every right to live in a safe and a secure community, and that begins with a safe and secure country,” Reynolds said in a C-SPAN interview earlier this year. “But the Biden Administration has refused to secure our border. They’ve refused to provide the resources to stop human trafficking, to stop the staggering influx of deadly drugs coming into our neighborhoods. …
“We’ve actually gone to the border. Something that our president and vice president have yet to do since taking office.”
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds: “The Biden Administration has refused to secure our border.” She adds, “we’ve actually gone to the border. Something that our president and vice president have yet to do since taking office.#SOTU #SOTU2022 pic.twitter.com/9nPRh0mtow
— CSPAN (@cspan) March 2, 2022
Most presidential candidates do not announce their vice presidential pick until much closer to the primary season. Still, during an election night event — a week before his announcement to run in ’24 — Trump told a reporter he wouldn’t leave people waiting very long.
“I’ll let you know very soon,” he said when asked whom he would choose.
Reporter: “Mr. President, who’s going to be your vice president pick?”
Trump: “I’ll let you know very soon.” pic.twitter.com/foPQvq8U9t
— PatriotTakes 🇺🇸 (@patriottakes) November 13, 2022
A lot can happen between now and 2024, and it also looks like there will be many battles within the Republican Party as the primaries inch closer.
However, the silver lining is that with Reynolds and so many other highly qualified individuals who would make excellent running mates for whoever ultimately gets the nod, the future of the GOP looks brighter than ever.
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