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In recent weeks, there has been a lot of speculation about who will be Donald Trump’s running mate in the upcoming election. While Trump has mentioned several names repeatedly, there is a belief within his campaign that he may surprise everyone by picking someone not on the public radar. Many of the potential candidates have been publicly demonstrating their loyalty to Trump, but the decision is not expected until the Republican National Convention in July to maximize the political impact of the announcement.

Trump’s list of potential running mates seems to be growing rather than shrinking, with names like Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, J.D. Vance, Rep. Elise Stefanik, Gov. Doug Burgum, and Sen. Tim Scott being considered. There has also been new consideration for individuals like Florida Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar, and Sens. Tom Cotton, Bill Hagerty, and Tulsi Gabbard. A growing number of voices within Trump’s circle have suggested picking a Hispanic running mate to appeal to a critical voting bloc, with Rubio and Salazar being top choices.

Salazar, a former TV journalist and current Congresswoman, has been praised for her defense of Trump during his trial in New York. Despite her relative inexperience, Salazar’s name has been circulating as a potential running mate. However, she faces a residency hurdle similar to Rubio, as both are from Florida. Cotton, who brings a military background and Washington experience, has emerged as a contender after Trump floated his name at a recent private dinner. Despite the growing list of potential candidates, Trump is not yet having serious conversations to narrow down the field.

Gabbard, a former Democratic candidate, also remains under consideration as a potential running mate for Trump, but her impeachment vote against him while in Congress could be a hurdle. Tennessee’s Hagerty has also been mentioned privately as a potential VP candidate, with some pointing to his foreign policy experience and rapport with Trump. Some have suggested assembling a team of rivals that includes former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley as Trump’s running mate, given her strong showing in primary contests despite dropping out of the race.

Despite Haley’s continued support for Trump and her strong performance in primary contests, there has been no official communication between her and Trump regarding a potential running mate role. Some Republicans, like Rep. Ralph Norman, have pitched the idea of having Haley on the GOP ticket, citing her popularity and ability to attract voters. While Haley has not expressed interest in the role, Norman believes she would consider it if offered. Ultimately, the decision on Trump’s running mate is expected to be made closer to the Republican National Convention in July.

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