Moderate Republican Hogan says he will not challenge Trump in 2024

Larry Hogan, the former Maryland governor and a prominent moderate Republican, has withdrawn from the field of potential presidential candidates in 2024, warning that a “piling up” of candidates could pave Donald Trump’s path to the nomination.

Hogan’s decision came a day after Trump said in a long and rambling complaint-packed speech to conservative activists and supporters outside of Washington that he was preparing for his own “final battle” to win back the White House next year.

Trump has already announced that he will seek a new term as president. Other confirmed rivals leading the Republican ticket are Nikki Haley, the former US ambassador to the UN, and Vivek Ramaswamy, the anti-ESG fundraiser.

But Hogan said too many Republican candidates would only help the former president, as was the case in 2016 when GOP rivals fielded a divided and ineffective opposition to Trump.

“There are several competent Republican leaders who have the potential to rise and lead. But the stakes are too high for me to risk being part of another multi-car pile-up that could potentially help Mr Trump reclaim the nomination,” Hogan said in a statement Sunday.

He also warned his party against pursuing “angry, divisive or performative policies” and abandoning “our limited conservative principles of government and America’s role as leader of the free world.”

Widely regarded as the most politically viable alternative to Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been preparing for a possible run, including a visit to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California.

At the library on Sunday, DeSantis emphasized his familiar issues, praised his own management of the Florida pandemic and criticized medical experts for trying to create what he defined as a “biomedical security state.”

He condemned what he called progressive “indoctrination” in schools and repeated his attacks on Disney, which had spoken out on its “Don’t Say Gay” education law. The company “may have gotten everything it wanted in Florida for the last 60 years, but now there’s a new sheriff in town and we’re not backing down on that,” he said.

Other potential Republican candidates in 2024 include Mike Pence, the former Vice President; Mike Pompeo, former Secretary of State; Tim Scott, the South Carolina Senator; and Chris Sununu, the governor of New Hampshire.

According to Morning Consult’s latest 2024 Republican primary tracking poll released last week, Trump still has a comfortable lead, with 48 percent of voters favoring him for the nomination, 30 percent choosing DeSantis, and other candidates being singled out -digit support.

But Sununu, speaking on NBC on Sunday, seemed confident Republican voters are looking at other options.

“[Trump] will not be the candidate. That’s just not going to happen,” said Sununu, who is considered one of the most moderate possible contenders.

“He’s an absolutely well-known asset to every American in this country. . . He only has his lane, and then there’s everyone else, which is a large majority of the party looking for an alternative,” he said.

However, Trump’s hold on a significant segment of the Republican base was evident Saturday at the Conservative Political Action Conference, a bastion of support for his 2024 bid.

A straw poll conducted at the event found that 62 percent of attendees favor Trump for the Republican nomination, compared to 20 percent for DeSantis, who did not speak at the conference.

“In 2016, I declared that I am your voice,” Trump said. “Today I add: I am your warrior. I am your justice And for those who have been wronged and deceived, I am your vengeance.”

Trump also hinted that he would remain in the running even if prosecuted in connection with a number of ongoing state and federal investigations.

The increasingly heated battle for the Republican nomination comes as US President Joe Biden prepares to announce his own reelection bid.

So far, Biden has not been considered a major challenge for the Democratic nomination, although author Marianne Williamson announced over the weekend that she would run for the White House again, as she did in 2020. Moderate Republican Hogan says he will not challenge Trump in 2024

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