Former Vice President Mike Pence travels to New Hampshire Thursday, where he will deliver a speech condemning Democratic plans to overhaul voting laws, kicking off Republican primary season.
He is the first of the likely 2024 runners to visit the early primary state since the election.
Pence will address the Hillsborough County Republican Committee’s annual Lincoln-Reagan Awards Dinner in Manchester, where $250 VIP tickets sold out.
It follows an appearance in another early state, South Carolina, where Pence promised to keep pushing back on the ‘liberal agenda’ of President Biden.
A source close to Pence said he was planning to attack Democrats’ plans to overhaul voting laws.
Former Vice President Mike Pence will attack Democrats plans for overhauling voter laws when he addresses Republicans in New Hampshire on Thursday evening
$250 VIP tickets have sold out for the Hillsborough County Republican Committee’s annual Lincoln-Reagan Awards Dinner at the DoubleTree hotel in Manchester
How the bookies see the race for 2024 Republican nomination
No one has declared yet, but bookies are already taking money on who will win the Republican nomination. All eyes are on Trump to see whether he will run again:
9/2 Donald Trump – Aides say he will make decision after 2022 midterms
13/2 Nikki Haley – Won admirers during her stint at the United Nations
13/2 Ron DeSantis – Governor of Florida and Trump loyalist
13/1 Mike Pence – Draws support from conservatives and evangelicals
17/1 Ted Cruz – Texas senator who lost out to Trump in 2016
17/1 Ivanka Trump – First daughter and Trump’s favorite child
17/1 Kristi Noem – Governor of South Dakota, elected as a Trump ally in 2019
19/1 Tom Cotton – Arkansas senator sometimes seen as heir to Trump
19/1 Paul Ryan – Former House speaker who has clashed with Trump
21/1 Tucker Carlson – Fox News host and favorite of Trump fans
21/1 Donald Trump Jr – Chip off the old block but friends say unlikely to run
Source – Betfair
‘It’s expected to be a different speech than the one he delivered in South Carolina, and Pence plans to home in specifically on a select couple of issues like HR 1, which the New Hampshire Secretary of State has been a vocal opponent of,’ said the source.
Republicans see HR1, known as the For the People Act, as a power grab that could tilt elections in favor of Democrats for years to come.
Supporters say it abolishes hurdles to voting, offering same-day registration for federal elections, no-excuse mail voting, at least two weeks of early voting and automatically registering voters.
Pence condemned the measures in a March comment piece for The Daily Signal, saying it would sweep aside state efforts to protect elections in favor of an attempt to ‘nationalize elections.’
‘HR 1 would turn a blind eye to very real problems at the state level, exacerbate existing vulnerabilities, and further undermine the American people’s confidence in the principle of “one person, one vote,”’ he wrote.
While none of the likely runners has announced a bid for the White House, a shadow campaign has begun.
Pompeo is expected to make his second trip to the early caucus state of Iowa next month.
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, who is popular with Trump supporters, is also expected there in July.
And Nikki Haley, Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, will deliver the keynote speech at the Iowa Republican Party’s annual Lincoln Dinner.
Since leaving office in January, Pence joined the Heritage Foundation and Young America’s Foundation. He has all set up a political platform called Advancing American Freedom, which includes key players from the Trump administration and the conservative movement.
Chris Ager, Hillsborough County GOP chairman, said he was delighted to be hosting Pence in New Hampshire.
‘We have a VIP reception and sold that out early and this is the largest ticket sales for a dinner that our county has ever put on,’ he said.
Ager added that potential candidates visit New Hampshire all the time, but Pence was the first of the 2024 names to visit since November’s election.
Former President Donald Trump remains the leader with bookmakers for the 2024 Republican nomination even though aides say he will not decide whether to run until late next year
‘Which would kind of indicate the kickoff of the primary season,’ he said.
Betting exchanges list Trump as the favorite to win his party’s nomination again and place Pence in fourth place, behind Haley and DeSantis.
Analysts say Pence’s path to victory will rely on his ability to mix his appeal to evangelical, conservative voters with his record as Trump’s vice president.
That looked to be in doubt on Jan 6. when mobs of Trump supporters marched through the U.S. Capitol building chanting, ‘Hang Mike Pence,’ after the president condemned him as lacking ‘courage’ for defying his orders to overturn the election results.
Pence’s supporters will hope that the stellar ticket sales mean Republicans have moved on.
And aides to both Trump and Pence say the two men remain close and talk regularly on the telephone.
New Hampshire Republican operative Lauren Zelt said GOP members were excited to hear from Pence as both a former vice president and potential 2024 candidate.
‘They see it as an opportunity contrast what they call the hope of Republicans against the disasters of the Biden administration,’ she said.