Picture of Donald Trump embracing Vivek Ramaswamy.

Image Courtesy of The Daily Mail

By John Maggio

With Trump’s recent clinch of his party’s nomination, the question remains on his pick for a running mate to replace former VP Mike Pence, who is not running with or even endorsing the former president.

During a town hall event hosted by Fox News, Trump stated that six are on his shortlist for his running mate.

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL)

The Florida governor is a close ideological ally of Trump but was a strong competitor against him in the GOP race this election cycle. Being Trump’s vice president for four years will almost certainly make him the leader of the MAGA crowd if he runs in 2028.

One issue with DeSantis being Trump’s running mate is that they reside in the same state. The 12th Amendment states that the candidates for President and Vice President “shall not be an inhabitant of the same state.” Trump was registered in New York for the 2016 election and Florida for the 2020 election, so moving again to run with DeSantis is not impossible.

Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL)

The second-term Congress from southern Florida has been making a name for himself while he has been in Washington D.C. Last year, when it took the House of Representatives 15 rounds to elect Rep. Kevin McCarthy as the Speaker, Donalds did throw his hat into the ring with Trump’s endorsement but had no chance.

With Trump’s support among black voters increasing, this may be a smart move to help him get reelected from a typical Democrat demographic

Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC)

The newly engaged Senator has been a close ally of Trump for some time. Scott endorsed Trump after he dropped out of the race. Trump has even said that Scott is a better advocate for him than Trump is, a truly notable statement from the boastful Republican candidate.

As with Donalds, choosing Scott may help with the black vote, but Scott’s strong religious nature could help with the evangelical voters like Pence did for Trump in 2016.

Gov. Krisiti Noem (R-SD)

The Governor of South Dakota was recently at a Trump rally over the weekend in Ohio, the rally where Trump stated there would be a “bloodbath” if he did not win in November.

Before becoming governor in 2019, Noem represented South Dakota’s single-house district from 2011 to 2019, so she has a great deal of experience at the federal level.

Vivek Ramaswamy

The entrepreneur who turned into a failed presidential candidate was on Trump’s shortlist as his running mate, but Bloomberg has reported that Trump has ruled him out of the spot. Sources close to the matter say that the former president is looking to have him in a Cabinet position.

Former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (I-HI)

The former Hawaiian Representative is apparently on the shortlist, but it is unlikely that he will choose her. Her name on this list could be due to Trump likely picking a woman, so putting a veteran like her could show that a woman candidate is not so random. With abortion being a key issue in this election, having a woman on the ticket to compete with the highly unpopular current VP Kamala Harris.

Gabbard was a Democrat until 2022, becoming an Independent.


While those are the stated ones on the shortlist, it is not unlikely that some more are unnamed.

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) is a high-ranking member of House Republicans. She has been a strong fundraiser, likely something that could help the Trump campaign with his many legal fees.

With immigration being a key topic for voters this election, Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) has emerged as a strong opponent against Biden’s failure at the border. He has stood up against the Supreme Court’s efforts to block Texas’ border policy, so making him Trump’s running mate will likely make immigration the main topic that the Republicans hit Biden on for his handling of the border. His major problem is that he may be too right for some moderate voters.

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