The first Republican to officially step forward as a challenger to Trump for the 2024 presidential nomination is the former mayor of Cranston, Rhode Island.
Steve Laffey, who served as the mayor of Cranston, a city just outside Providence in Rhode Island from 2003 to 2007, made his announcement in a video on Thursday, making him only the second official presidential candidate for the Republican Party, after 45th President Donald Trump made his announcement in November last year.
“I’m running because our country needs to directly confront its problems,” Laffey said. “My party and the elected leaders of our country simply refuse to do so… We don’t need just a businessman. We don’t need career politicians. We have a financial crisis, and we need specific solutions.”
— Raymond; Host of Ray-ality TV (@RaymondB916) February 2, 2023
Laffey, who moved out to Colorado in 2010 after a failed run for Rhode Island’s Senate seat, told the Providence Journal that he will be focusing on campaigning in New Hampshire in order to get to the debate stage in order to get the other candidates to talk about the issues that really matter, which he primarily thinks is the problem of Social Security.
“The stealing from the next generation by the people who are considered the quote-unquote ‘Greatest Generation’ has to stop,” Laffey said. “Issues like that won’t be in the debate unless you watch me there … [and] I do what I do… I will turn to whoever [asks] me something about abortion. I’ll say ‘I’m pro-life’ but let me tell you … Social Security.”
Speaking to the Boston Globe, Laffey, who has 481 followers on Twitter at the time of writing, dismissed the idea that he was a “long-shot” candidate. “Nobody thought I’d be the mayor of Cranston, too,” Laffey argued. “But I was right for the times… This is a very serious thing.”
Steve Laffey knows he's got just as much chance as Nikki Haley so why not. https://t.co/W1HGqsfh04
— The Prudentialist (@MrPrudentialist) February 3, 2023
Nikki Haley, the former Governor of South Carolina, is set to be the next challenger to announce a 2024 presidential run, according to reports. Haley tweeted on Wednesday that she has a “special announcement” to make in Charleston on February 15th, saying it will be a “Great Day in South Carolina.”
Former Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has also said he has given “serious consideration” to a presidential run, and that he doesn;t believe Trump will be the Republican nominee.
“We’ve got to figure out a candidate that can appeal to a broader audience of people and can win over swing voters, otherwise we don’t get to govern,” Hogan told Neil Cavuto on Fox News, claiming that the Republicans “keep losing elections.” Other potential candidates include John Bolton, and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.