Former US Vice President Pence has qualified for Republican debate -team

(Reuters) – Former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has qualified for the first Republican debate of the 2024 U.S. presidential campaign on Aug. 23 in Milwaukee, his campaign team said on Tuesday.

Pence had initially appeared to be at risk of not making the debate, which is only open to those who have garnered the support of 40,000 individual donors.

The Pence campaign said it told Fox News – which is hosting the debate – on Monday that it had met the target. Pence is stuck in single digits in opinion polls, far behind former President Donald Trump, who has said he plans to skip the debate.

“Mike Pence made quick and easy work of the donor threshold and he’s looking forward to a substantive debate,” spokesman Devin O’Malley said in a statement. “Hopefully, former President Trump has the courage to show up.”

As well as Trump, Pence and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, at least five other candidates appeared to be on track to qualify: former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, U.S. Senator Tim Scott and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; editing by Jonathan Oatis)