Former Republican Governor of South Carolina, Nikki Haley, served as an ambassador to the United Nations (U.N.) during the administration of former President Donald Trump and will join the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.
Numerous sources confirmed that Haley would formally declare her candidacy for the White House at a February 15 event in Charleston, South Carolina. News of Haley’s impending announcement was first reported by the Post and Courier newspaper in South Carolina.
Political experts have long viewed former Gov. Haley as a possible Republican presidential contender. In contrast, she has crisscrossed the U.S. over the past couple of years through her political organization Stand for America, helping fellow Republicans running in the 2022 elections.
Haley’s travels took her various times to Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada, which hold the first, second, and fourth contests on the presidential nomination calendar. The former governor’s home state of South Carolina votes third in the Republican primary schedule.
When Haley spoke with reporters last year and was questioned about a possible run for the White House, at the time, Haley reiterated that “after November, we’ll figure it out. But you know what I’ve said — I’ve never lost a race. I’m not going to start now. If there’s a place for me, we’ll put 100% in and finish it.”
Former Governor Haley followed her cross-country travels with a speech at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual leadership meeting. The meeting was viewed as the first significant 2024 presidential roundup.
Haley confirms she is considering a presidential run
“A lot of people have asked if I’m going to run for president,” said Haley to cheers from the audience at the Las Vegas get-together. “Now that the midterms are over, I’ll look at it in a serious way.”
The former governor repeated that she’s “never lost an election” and that “when people underestimate me, it’s always fun.”
A few weeks ago, former Gov. Haley ramped up her language, further saying in an interview, “I think we need a young generation to come in, step up and really start fixing things… Can I be that leader? Yes, I think I can be that leader.”
Haley will become the second notable Republican to launch a 2024 campaign, following former President Donald Trump, who announced his candidacy at an event at his Mar-a-Lago home in mid-November.
While speaking with reporters onboard his plane Saturday as he flew from a New Hampshire campaign speech to a leadership launch in South Carolina, Trump confirmed Haley had called him to discuss running for the White House.
“Go by your heart if you want to run,” the former president said he told Haley. He said he told her she “should do it.”
However, Trump took an apparent dig at Haley when he noted she had said previously “publicly” said she wouldn’t seek the White House in 2024 if Trump decided to run again.
In April 2021, Haley told the Associated Press, “I would not run if President Trump ran, and I would talk to him about it. That’s something that we will have a conversation about at some point if that decision is something that has to be made.”
However, later in the year, the former governor indicated an openness to a possible presidential run in 2024 even if former President Trump decided to run for president again.
Haley has been ramping up her operation behind the scenes recently, with new incoming staff making their way to South Carolina.
“Nikki Haley has been laying the groundwork for a national launch even since she went to the United Nations,” said Dave Wilson, a South Carolina-based social conservative leader.
Wilson is the president of the Palmetto Family Council, a conservative Christian nonprofit located in Columbia, and emphasized that “with this announcement, Haley’s entered the countdown window. As they say at NASA, ‘Prepare for liftoff.'”
The former governor may not be the only Republican from South Carolina to dive into the White House race. Senator Tim Scott is showing signs that he may move toward the launch of a presidential campaign.
Other top GOP members who appear to be making moves toward launching presidential bids include former Vice President Mike Pence, former two-term Governors Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas and Larry Hogan of Maryland, Florida Ron DeSantis, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo., Governors Kristi Noem of South Dakota, Chris Sununu of New Hampshire, and Glenn Youngkin of Virginia, as well as former Representatives Will Hurd of Texas and Liz Cheney of Wyoming, and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.