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Senator Tim Scott Holds Opportunity Matters Network Event
Senator Tim Scott in Des Moines, Iowa, on Feb. 22, 2023. Rachel Mummey / Bloomberg via Getty Images

Eyes on 2024: GOP candidates waiting in the wings

The GOP presidential field hasn't changed for over a month, but potential candidates are maneuvering for possible runs.

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The GOP waiting game is not just for former President Donald Trump’s possible indictment. It’s also for the Republican presidential primary, with the field unchanged for more than a month as potential candidates and their allies continue to maneuver ahead of possible runs. 

On Wednesday NBC News’ Ali Vitali, Ryan Nobles and Liz Brown-Kaiser reported that Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., is “inching closer” to a decision and plans to host donors at a summit in the Palmetto State next month and continue his travels to early primary states. 

Also on Wednesday, a super PAC supporting Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who isn’t in the race yet, added Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s 2016 presidential campaign manager Jeff Roe as an adviser, NBC News’ Dasha Burns reports. 

The super PAC’s leader, Ken Cuccinelli, told the Associated Press that “there’s no way” DeSantis should launch a presidential run before Florida’s legislative session wraps up on May 5. DeSantis, meanwhile, is continuing to push his agenda, recently moving to expand a law barring instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity to include all grade levels. 

In other campaign news…

Who says you can’t go home?: Biden is “leaning toward” anchoring his re-election campaign in Wilmington, Del., but he is also still considering once again basing his campaign in Philadelphia, per Reuters.

Pence on the stand: The Washington Post reports that former Vice President Mike Pence’s team has “privately accepted” that Pence may have to testify against Trump as part of the Justice Department’s investigation into efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

$enate recruitment: Republicans are looking to recruit “filthy rich” Senate candidates, Politico reports, noting there are at least 10 candidates in multiple battleground states who are “seriously considering” spending their own money on potential campaigns. 

Texas run ‘em: Texas is one of Democrats’ few Senate pickup opportunities, and Inside Elections reports that Democrats view Rep. Colin Allred and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro as possible contenders. But if neither runs, the list of potential candidates grows substantially, and could include Arizona Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly’s twin brother, Scott, and state Sen. Roland Gutierrez, who represents Uvalde and has been a vocal proponent of gun reform after the mass shooting at an elementary school there. 

Gallagher’s choice: Some Republicans believe Wisconsin Rep. Mike Gallagher could be their best recruit to take on Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin, Politico reports. But Gallagher has said he is focused on his work leading the new China Select Committee.

Denied: The Arizona Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge to the 2022 election from Republican Kari Lake, who is considering a Senate run in Arizona and continues to falsely claim that she won last year’s gubernatorial race, per the Arizona Republic. But part of Lake’s case remains alive as the court sent one of her claims regarding signature verification back to a lower court. 

Convention confab: A group of Democratic governors in the Midwest are asking Biden to pick Chicago to host the 2024 Democratic National Convention, making the case that Democrats must work to protect their “blue wall,” NBC News’ Natasha Korecki reports.

Michigan GOP under fire: The Michigan Republican Party is facing bipartisan criticism, including from the Republican Jewish Coalition, for social media posts comparing restrictions on guns to the Holocaust. New chairwoman Kristina Karamo, who rose to prominence casting doubt on the 2020 presidential election and lost a statewide bid this year, defended the posts in a statement. 

Debate night in Chicago: The Chicago Tribune reports that mayoral hopefuls Brandon Johnson and Paul Vallas sat down for a forum Wednesday night that took a deep dive into their policy plans.