At least three prominent anti-Trump Republicans appear to be positioning themselves for potential 2024 presidential bids, according to the Associated Press.
Anti-Trump Republican operatives failed to recruit strong opposition candidates against former President Donald Trump in 2016 and 2020, settling for the likes of Evan McMullin and Bill Weld. But if Trump runs in 2024, he could face off in the GOP primary against more prominent conservatives like Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, Rep. Liz Cheney, and Rep. Adam Kinzinger.
Hogan, who rejected Republican efforts to recruit him to run for Senate, is planning trips to Iowa and New Hampshire, which host the first two nominating contests.
Hogan’s advocacy group America United has raised millions and he plans to host events for Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who voted to convict Trump in his second impeachment trial, and California Rep. David Valadao, who voted to impeach Trump.
“There is a large and growing lane of Republicans and Americans across the political spectrum who are fed up with toxic politics and want to move in a new direction,” Hogan told the AP. “While I’m focused on finishing my term as governor strong, I’m going to continue to stand up and be a voice for getting our party and our country back on the right track.”
Kinzinger, who also backed Trump’s impeachment and sits on the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, is also considering a timeline for a possible presidential bid.
Kinzinger, who is retiring from Congress after his district was redrawn, has launched Country First, an advocacy group that claims to have chapters in 38 states.
He also said he plans to campaign for anti-Trump Republicans in the midterms.
“It’s there as an option, but it’s not necessarily because this is all some big plan so I can be in the White House,” Kinzinger told the AP. “It’s looking and saying, ‘Is there going to be a voice out there that can represent from that megaphone the importance of defending this country and democracy and what America is about?’ There certainly, I’m sure within the next year or so, will be a point at which you have to make a decision.”
Kinzinger even floated the possibility of running as an independent.
“This country is built really for two parties, like it or love it or hate it,” he said. “Never rule anything out. But my hope would be to be able to find the salvation of the GOP.”
Cheney’s allies have been “openly talking up her White House prospects” as her congressional reelection hopes dim.
Cheney, the vice-chair of the Jan. 6 committee and a leading Trump critic, faces a tough re-election challenge from Trump-backed Republican Harriet Hageman, a former Cheney ally.
Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, raised $7.1 million last year, the biggest haul of any House member.
“She’s opened up the door across the country by standing up on a national platform that bridges that middle gap of the people that were frustrated on both the left and the right,” Wyoming state Rep. Landon Brown, a Cheney ally, told the AP. “I don’t think it would be easy, but she would be a formidable candidate, for sure.”