Former Vice President Mike Pence presented his candidacy for the White House

Mike Pence presented his candidacy for the White House

Former US Vice President Mike Pence (2017-2021) presented the documentation to the US Federal Election Commission on Monday to contest the Republican Party primaries for the 2024 presidential elections.

Pence will formally launch his bid for the Republican nomination on Wednesday with a video and launch event in Des Moines, Iowa, on his 64th birthday, according to people familiar with his plans.

While Trump currently leads the early fight for the nomination, with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis coming in second, Pence supporters see a lane for a trusted conservative who embraces many of the policies of the previous administration, but without the constant tumult. 

Though he frequently lauds the achievements of the “Trump-Pence administration,” a Pence nomination would in many ways mark a return to positions long associated with the Republican establishment but abandoned when Trump reshaped the party in his image. Pence has warned against the rising populist tide in the party, and aides see him as the only traditional, Reagan-style conservative in the race.

A staunch opponent of abortion rights, Pence supports a national ban on the procedure and has campaigned against transgender-affirming policies in schools. He has argued that changes to Social Security and Medicare, such as raising the qualifying age, need to be on the table to keep the programs solvent – which both Trump and DeSantis have opposed – and criticized DeSantis for his growing feud with Disney.

He has also said the United States should offer Ukraine more support against Russian aggression while admonishing “Putin apologists” in the party who are unwilling to take on the Russian leader.

Pence, who describes himself as “Christian, Conservative and Republican, in that order,” has spent months paving the way for his long-awaited candidacy, holding rallies in early voting states like Iowa, South Carolina and New Hampshire, visiting churches, making political speeches and courting donors.

Pence’s team views Iowa and its evangelical Christian voters as critical to their potential path to victory. His advisers say he plans to campaign aggressively in the state, visiting each of its 99 counties before the country’s first caucuses next year.