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The Veepstakes: Who will Donald Trump pick as his running mate? Tim Scott, Elise Stefanik, Doug Burgum and Marco Rubio

Luisa Vieira/GZERO Media

The Veepstakes: Who will be Donald Trump's VP pick?

With Donald Trump set to announce his vice presidential running mate in the coming days, we explore the possible contenders — and their viability.

Tim Scott 

Tim Scott

Tim Scott

South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, who withdrew from the race for the Republican nomination last November, has been campaigning hard for Donald Trump – and he has his eye on becoming vice president. But will the GOP’s only Black senator get Trump’s VP nod?

Raised by a single mom in Charleston, South Carolina, Scott became the first Black Republican elected to any office in the Palmetto State since the 19th century when he won his 1995 Charleston city council race. In 2008, he won a seat in the statehouse and went on to the House of Representatives in 2010. After one term, then-South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley appointed him to fill a vacant Senate seat, and he has easily won reelection three times. He is arguably the most recognizable elected Black Republican in office today. (Could Tim Scott become Trump's No. 2? Continue to read here.)


Elise Stefanik

Elise Stefanik

Elise Stefanik

Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York, a rising star of the GOP, is one of the few women on former President Donald Trump’s vice president shortlist.

When Stefanik first entered the national political scene in 2014, she was considered the new face of the Republican Party. At the time, she was the youngest woman ever elected to Congress and widely considered a moderate. Fast-forward to 2024, and Stefanik has drastically shifted to the right. She’s a full-blown MAGA Republican, routinely defending Trump and echoing his talking points – including the white nationalist “great replacement” conspiracy theory. (Could Stefanik, now a full-blown MAGA Republican, become Trump's running mate? Continue to read here.)

JD Vance

\u200bJD Vance

JD Vance

CNP/INSTARimages.com via Reuters

From holler to white collar. That’s the unusual life arc of J.D. Vance, the 39-year-old junior senator from Ohio.

Born into extreme poverty in rural southern Ohio, he grew up in the holler – “the hollow” – surrounded by abuse, addiction, and despair. But he made it out: He joined the Marines, graduated from Yale Law School, and became a successful tech venture capitalist.

He recounted all of this in his bestselling 2016 memoir “Hillbilly Elegy,” which became required reading after Trump’s shock victory over Hillary Clinton spurred interest in the disaffection of white working-class America. In the book, Vance criticized a culture of victimhood and dependency among poor whites while also blasting the establishment’s condescension and neglect. (Could Vance make it to the very top? Continue to read here.)

Marco Rubio

Marco Rubio

Marco Rubio

Mariana Robertson via Reuters

Florida’s senior senator earned the nickname “Lil’ Marco” for challenging Donald Trump during the 2016 primaries, but he has since forged a close alliance with the former president – so much so that some believe he could be tapped for No. 2.

Rubio was born in Miami to Cuban immigrants who arrived before the 1959 communist revolution — contrary to claims he had long made of them fleeing from Fidel Castro. He speaks fluent Spanish and got his start in politics in 1998 as a city commissioner in West Miami, where the 2000 census showed 87% of residents spoke Spanish as a first language. (Could Rubio stand a chance of becoming the first Latino VP? Find out more here.)

Doug Burgum

\u200bDoug Burgum

Doug Burgum

When Doug Burgum launched a campaign for the Republican presidential nomination focused on economic growth, energy production, and national security, few Americans outside of the Flickertail State had heard of the former software CEO turned governor of North Dakota. Just to get the 40,000 unique donors needed to make the debate stage, he had to give out $20 gift cards in return for $1 campaign donations. While he’s still far from a household name, he has emerged as a dark horse favorite to become Donald Trump’s vice presidential running mate.

Who is he? The67-year-old Burgum hails from Arthur, North Dakota — a town of roughly 300 residents — and worked as a consultant at McKinsey & Co before leveraging his family farm to start an accounting software company called Great Plains Software, which he sold to Microsoft for $1.1 billion in 2001. (Would Trump fancy a biz-savvy VP pick? Find out more here.)

Wildcards: Could Trump surprise us with his VP running mate?

Wildcards: Could Trump surprise us with his VP running mate? Vivek Ramaswamy, Ivanka Trump, Nikki Haley, Kristi Noem, Tulsi Gabbard & Byron Donalds

Wildcards: Could Trump surprise us with his VP running mate? Vivek Ramaswamy, Ivanka Trump, Nikki Haley, Kristi Noem, Tulsi Gabbard & Byron Donalds

Luisa Vieira/GZERO Media

Donald Trump has been teasing his vice presidential pick for weeks, but with the Republican National Convention kicking off next week, he’s likely to make it official — and soon.

Right now, the front-runners appear to be Sens. Marco Rubio and JD Vance, along with North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum. But what about the contenders who aren’t grabbing headlines yet remain on Trump’s radar? Here is everything you need to know about the dark-horse candidates.

Nikki Haley: We know, we know, the former governor of South Carolina and Trump’s former ambassador to the UN fired shots at the former president as his main opponent in the primary. But just because she once challenged him doesn’t mean she wouldn’t be a valuable running mate. (Could Trump surprise us with his VP running mate? Find out more about his wildcard prospects here.)

Sen. Marco Rubio

Mariana Robertson via Reuters

Veepstakes: Could Marco Rubio become the first Latino VP?

Florida’s senior senator earned the nickname “Lil’ Marco” for challenging Donald Trump during the 2016 primaries, but he has since forged a close alliance with the former president – so much so that some believe he could be tapped for No. 2.

Rubio was born in Miami to Cuban immigrants who arrived before the 1959 communist revolution — contrary to claims he had long made of them fleeing from Fidel Castro. He speaks fluent Spanish and got his start in politics in 1998 as a city commissioner in West Miami, where the 2000 census showed 87% of residents spoke Spanish as a first language.

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Trump's VP pick: The short list
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I'm down here in Miami, Florida, attending the third annual National Conservative Conference where we're hearing from a large group of conservatives who want to rethink the foundations that have held together the American Right for the last 50 years. Part of this is in response to Donald Trump's surprising election in 2016 and his dismantling of the conservative coalition that had supported the Republican Party to that point. Another big theme that we're hearing about is a reaction to what folks here call the woke Left who, in their mind, have dominated educational, business, and cultural institutions for a very long time and have pushed out the traditional Christian conservative values that built this country.

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