DeSantis Joins Growing Republican Field: Breaking Down the Other Contenders

The Florida governor and his Republican rivals could split the votes against Donald Trump.

(Bloomberg) — The number of candidates in the Republican presidential primary continues to grow. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis officially joined the race as candidates emboldened by his dropping poll numbers launched their own bids earlier.

The addition makes seven Republicans in the primary, where former President Donald Trump continues to be the frontrunner. And a growing cast of contenders is good for Trump, who polls show doing better against a larger field where the anti-Trump vote is splintered into various factions. Indeed, when South Carolina Senator Tim Scott launched his campaign, Trump wished him well. 

“Good luck to Senator Tim Scott in entering the Republican Presidential Primary Race,” Trump wrote on his Truth Social account. “It is rapidly loading up with lots of people.”

Still, some potential contenders have bowed out, as former Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, a longtime Trump antagonist, and Mike Pompeo, who was secretary of state under Trump, have announced that they won’t run for president.

Republicans Who Have Announced a 2024 Presidential Bid

Donald TrumpFormer presidentAnnounced: Nov. 15, 2022Trump is seeking to become the first former president since Grover Cleveland to be elected to a second, non-consecutive term in office. He faces potential legal problems that could complicate his campaign related to his attempts to overturn his 2020 loss in Georgia and mishandling of government records. He has already lost a $5 million sexual abuse and defamation case to former advice columnist E. Jean Carroll.

Ron DeSantisFlorida governorAnnounced: May 24, 2023Recently reelected to a second term, the Florida governor regularly made national news during the legislative session for signing laws  banning abortions after six weeks, banning gender-affirming care for minors and stripping Walt Disney Co. of some authority over its Orlando theme park. He announced his run in a video posted on Twitter.

Nikki HaleyFormer U.N. AmbassadorAnnounced: Feb. 14, 2023A former governor of South Carolina, Haley served as United Nations ambassador under Trump. She made an indirect attack on the 76-year-old as well as President Joe Biden, who is 80, by calling for mental competency tests for politicians over the age of 75. She has also attacked DeSantis for being an “echo” of Trump’s positions and mannerisms.

Tim ScottUS Senator Announced: May 22, 2023Along with Haley, who first appointed him to the Senate, the South Carolina senator could make things interesting in an early primary state that helped propel Trump to the presidency. In late May, he announced his run in his hometown of North Charleston, citing his personal story as the child of a single mother.

Asa HutchinsonFormer Arkansas governorAnnounced: April 2, 2023A former governor of Arkansas, Hutchinson has also served as under secretary of Homeland Security, led the Drug Enforcement Administration and was a member of the House of Representatives. He is running on a platform of “consistent conservativism.” 

Vivek RamaswamyBiotech executiveAnnounced: Feb. 21, 2023A former biotechnology executive and hedge-fund partner, Ramaswamy is known for his opposition to ESG investing and other “woke” corporate actions, which he attacked in his book Woke, Inc. In his first run for president, he remains a longshot.

Larry ElderRadio hostAnnounced: April 20, 2023A conservative radio host who ran unsuccessfully for California governor during a recall election in 2021, Elder announced his campaign on the now-canceled Fox News show hosted by Tucker Carlson. He is also a longshot candidate.

Republicans Who Might Challenge Trump

Mike PenceFormer vice presidentEven if he weren’t considering a primary run against his former boss, the former vice president was already unlikely to rejoin Trump as his running mate for the 2024 campaign, after an angry mob threatening to hang Pence stormed the US Capitol on Jan. 6.

Chris ChristieFormer New Jersey governorChristie would be the rare candidate who lost to Trump in 2016 coming back for another round. Despite the fact that he endorsed Trump and advised his campaign after bowing out, the former governor has signaled that he would go after Trump hard in a rematch.


Glenn YoungkinVirginia governor The former Carlyle Group co-CEO had no prior political experience before he was elected governor of Virginia in 2021. He’s made several moves, from meeting with donors to agreeing to a CNN town hall, that indicate he’s seriously considering a run. 

Chris SununuNew Hampshire governor Hailing from a political dynasty that includes a governor and a US senator, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu has said he’s “definitely thinking” about a 2024 run. Unlike other potential contenders, he’s taken a more combative approach to Trump.

Democrats Who Have Announced a 2024 Presidential Bid

Joe BidenPresidentAnnounced: April 25, 2023The current president, who previously served two terms as vice president and three decades in the Senate, is running for a second term, citing his record in office and issues like preserving abortion access and protecting Social Security. He has acknowledged concerns about his age — he would be 86 at the end of a second term — but argues he is fit to serve and needs a second term to achieve his goals.

Marianne WilliamsonSelf-help authorAnnounced: Feb. 25, 2023A best-selling self-help author who first ran for president in 2020, Williamson is running a longshot campaign focused on issues like economic inequality and corporate power rather than the more spiritual angles she took in her previous run.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.Anti-vaccine activistAnnounced: April 19, 2023The son of Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and nephew of President John F. Kennedy, Kennedy is mostly known for promoting discredited theories about vaccines and promoting unproven treatments for the coronavirus.

–With assistance from Lindsey Rupp.

(Updates throughout to reflect additional candidates)

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