With less than two years remaining until US voters will decide who will serve as president of the United States from January 2025 to January 2029, former Republican government officials are starting to jockey for position in the coming fight for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, while at least two Democrats challenge President Joe Biden in a Democratic primary.
As the campaign takes shape, here are the names you need to know.
Mr Biden is the current president of the United States and is now officially gunning for a second term, having announced his reelection bid in a video message on 25 April.
Mr Biden, 80, is the oldest person to ever serve as president and his lacklustre approval ratings fuelled speculation that he might stand down so a younger candidate could take up the Democratic Party mantle.
But the Democrats’ better-than-expected results in the 2022 midterms appeared to put new wind in Mr Biden’s sails before he officially announced his 2024 run
Mr Trump, 77, officially filed paperwork with the FEC to declare himself a candidate in the 2024 election on 15 November 2022.
Mr Trump is the only US president to face two separate impeachment trials – one after fomenting a violent attack on the US Capitol in hopes of remaining in power despite losing the 2020 election to Mr Biden.
He announced his candidacy at the same Palm Beach, Florida, location where FBI agents had conducted a search for stolen classified documents just three months earlier.
The ex-real estate developer-turned-television-presenter-turned-politician is hoping he can become the first ex-US chief executive to reclaim the White House since Grover Cleveland.
Mr Trump faces a series of obstacles on what was once assumed to be a smooth glide path to the GOP nomination, including several of his former top aides and at least one governor he once endorsed - and four criminal indictments.
The self-help author and former spiritual adviser to television mogul Oprah Winfrey, who participated in several Democratic primary debates during the 2020 election, has said she will enter the 2024 race to challenge Mr Biden for the Democratic presidential nomination.
In an interview with Northwestern University’s Medill News Service, Ms Williamson, 71, confirmed her intention to run next year.
“I wouldn’t be running for president if I didn’t believe I could contribute to harnessing the collective sensibility that I feel is our greatest hope at this time,” she said.
During her aborted 2020 presidential run, she garnered a measure of notoriety for making statements widely considered bizarre, such as a vow to make then-New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern the first head of government she would call as president, and an assertion that she would win the election by "harness[ing] love for political purposes" against Mr Trump.
Former South Carolina governor Ms Haley spent two years as Mr Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations and during that time garnered some media attention for her sauve ability to avoid engaging with the controversies that engulfed Mr Trump’s administration while remaining in his good graces.
Although the former governor turned diplomat previously pledged not to throw her hat into the ring for 2024 if Mr Trump was still running, she appears to have thrown that non-campaign promise away.
On 15 February, Ms Haley, 51, announced that she would enter the race.
In a video released by her campaign, she even went so far as to take a veiled swipe at Mr Trump by noting that “seven out of the last eight presidential elections” have seen the GOP candidate lose the popular vote.
She also said it is “time for a new generation of leadership” who will “rediscover fiscal responsibility, secure our border and strengthen our country, our pride and our purpose”.
Former vice president Mr Pence officially entered the 2024 presidential race on 7 June after much speculation that he would try to take on his former boss Mr Trump.
“Today our party and our country need a leader that will appeal, as Lincoln said, to the better angels of our nature,” Mr Pence said in his campaign kickoff speech in Iowa.
Mr Pence, 64, was once Mr Trump’s steadfast right-hand man until he made the decision not to unlawfully hijack Congress’ certification of Electoral College votes to keep Mr Trump in office in 2020.
Since then, a rift has been driven between Mr Pence and Mr Trump – though Mr Pence continues to not publicly criticse Mr Trump in the same way other anti-Trump Republicans have.
Mr Pence has made it clear that he would not do things the way the ex-president did during their four years in office together but still promote the traditional conservative values he holds.
In his speech, Mr Pence said: “We could revive our economy, and put our nation back on a path to a balanced budget, defend our liberties and give America a new beginning for life.”
Although the ex-vice president has a recognisable stature in the GOP, he will likely face an uphill climb to convince voters that he – not Mr Trump – is the best choice.
The current governor of Florida announced his campaign on 24 May after months of speculation by many in the GOP that he would be the perfect successor to Mr Trump.
His campaign kickoff suffered a slew of technical errors when it launched in a Twitter Spaces event with CEO Elon Musk.
Mr DeSantis, 44, is a former Florida congressman who won his 2018 gubernatorial campaign after receiving a coveted endorsement from Mr Trump.
He is viewed by Republican pundits as a worthy avatar of the current “anti-woke” GOP and his star has been on the rise in conservative circles since he made a show of ending any and all pandemic-related restrictions and mandates in the Sunshine State.
When Mr DeSantis took the stage at his 2022 election victory party, supporters even chanted “two more years” in a nod to his potential status as a GOP presidential contender.
South Carolina Senator Mr Scott officially entered the race for Republican presidential nominee on 19 May after filing paperwork with the Federal Election Commission.
Mr Scott, 57, became the first Black senator to represent a state that had been part of the Confederacy during the American Civil War and the first Black Republican since Massachusetts Senator Edward Brooke when he was elected in 2013.
The then-freshman GOP senator retained the seat he’d been appointed to in a 2014 special election and was reelected easily in 2016 and 2022 with at least 60 per cent of the vote in both elections.
He has long been considered a rising star in the Republican Party, and was given the honour of delivering the party’s response to President Joe Biden’s inaugural address to Congress in 2021.
Mr Scott reportedly plans to begin airing TV ads in Iowa and New Hampshire in the final week of May, a commitment of $5.5 million that follows his formation of an exploratory committee in April.
He would start a bid with more campaign dollars than any of his 2024 rivals — roughly $22 million that he can automatically convert from his US Senate campaign account to a presidential campaign. The figure is the most any candidate in history has had when beginning a campaign for president, according to the FEC.
Mr Ramaswamy, a wealthy biotechnology entrepreneur and conservative activist, announced his intention to compete in the 2024 Republican primary during an appearance on Tucker Carlson’s eponymous Fox News programme (before Mr Carlson’s acrimonious departure from the network).
Mr Ramaswamy, 37, is a Yale Law School graduate. He has become somewhat of a celebrity in right-wing circles for his denunciations of stakeholder capitalism, big tech censorship and critical race theory.
Last year, he founded Strive Asset Management, an “anti-woke” investment firm opposed to businesses that use environmental, social and corporate governance practices.
Robert F Kennedy Jr
Mr Kennedy Jr, a lawyer, vaccine-sceptic and the son of US Senator Robert F Kennedy, filed candidacy papers with the FEC on 5 April.
The filing places the 69-year-old as the second long-shot Democratic candidate to challenge President Biden, behind Ms Williamson.
While he intends to run as a Democrat, Mr Kennedy Jr has ties to former president Mr Trump. In 2017, he was tapped by the then-president-elect to oversee a presidential panel to review vaccine safety and science - despite having repeatedly expressed scepticism about vaccines. He continued pushing those beliefs through the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Kennedy Jr’s father, the late New York Senator Robert F Kennedy Sr, was a candidate in the 1968 presidential election before he was assassinated.
Mr Christie, the pugnacious ex-New Jersey governor and ally-turned-critic of Mr Trump, entered the 2024 Republican presidential primary to directly challenge the man he endorsed after failing to gain traction in the GOP field nearly eight years ago.
In a town hall at St Anselm College in New Hampshire on 6 June, Mr Christie, 60, announced his campaign by positioning himself as a moderate-conservative alternative to Mr Trump who he referred to as a “self-consumed, self-serving, mirror hog”.
Mr Christie twice endorsed Mr Trump for president in 2016 and 2020 but turned on him after Mr Trump refused to concede and ultimately encouraged the January 6th riot.
The former New Jersey governor has been outspoken about his disdain for Mr Trump and is making it very clear in his 2024 campaign that he plans to take him on head first.
Mr Elder, a former attorney, and current conservative talk radio host, announced on Thursday 20 April on Tucker Carlson Tonight, just like Mr Ramaswamy, that he would be running for president in 2024.
The right-wing candidate said that he felt a “moral, religious, and a patriotic duty” to join the race for president. He named policing, crime and government overreach as areas of concern.
“We’ve incentivised women to marry the government,” Mr Elder, 71, told Tucker Carlson. “We’ve incentivised men to abandon their financial and moral responsibility. And if I do nothing else in this race, but focus people on those two issues… I would perform this service to my country.”
Prior to his announcement, Mr Elder had been the host of the popular conservative radio programme The Larry Elder Show on KABC since 1993. He left in April 2022.
Mr Elder has some political experience as he unsuccessfully ran to replace California governor Gavin Newsom in 2021.
Pastor and businessman Mr Binkley announced his entrance into the 2024 race on May 9 – another long-shot contender to challenge Mr Trump for the 2024 Republican nomination.
“We have to be unified,” Mr Binkley, 55, said at an event. “We have to be in this place, because if we’re in a time of uncertainty, what it’s going to take is faith in God and faith in each other to get us through, and it’s not time for us to back down. It’s time for us to believe.”
Mr Binkley has said he is “absolutely” confident that he could take on Mr Trump, despite having little name recognition and no experience holding elected office.
The former governor of Arkansas formally announced his campaign for president on 26 April.
In Bentonville, Arkansas, Mr Hutchinson, 72, told supporters he is “optimistic” about the future of the US and hopes to carry out the same “conservative values” to the White House that he did as governor.
“In this campaign for president, I stand alone in terms of my experience, record and leadership,” Mr Hutchinson said.
Before becoming governor, Mr Hutchinson was a representative for Arkansas, an administrator for the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and transportation security of the US Department of Homeland Security under former president George W Bush.
Mr Hutchinson discussed the economy, crime and border security during his campaign kick-off speech.
Mr Burgum, the governor of North Dakota, said he too would be running for the Republican nominee in the 2024 presidential election on 7 June.
The virtually unknown governor was a software entrepreneur before he was elected to his gubernatorial position in 2016.
In a preview video released the day before his announcement, Mr Burgum, 66, called himself “a new leader for a changing economy,” indicating his campaign would focus on kitchen-table issues.
But Mr Burgum has dipped his toe into some of the contemporary social issues that many Americans are concerned about when looking at a new candidate.
Mr Burgum is anti-abortion having signed a near-total abortion ban in North Dakota and anti-transgender having signed eight anti-transgender laws.
Mr Hurd, 45, a former CIA officer and representative for Texas, announced his bid for the Republican nomination on 22 June.
“I believe the Republican Party can be the party of the future, not the past,” Mr Hurd said to CBS Mornings during his campaign launch.
Like Mr Christie, Mr Hurd has positioned himself as a moderate alternative to the field of GOP candidates while remaining critical of Mr Trump.
The former Texas representative served in the US House for six years before leaving in 2021. He was the only Black Republican in the chamber during his final two terms.
While in Congress, Mr Hurd’s district was one of the most competitive in Texas. It included parts of San Antonio and El Paso as well as included most of the Texas border with Mexico.
He gained a reputation as a bipartisan dealmaker, once spending two days in a car with Democrat Beto O’Rourke in 2017 driving from San Antonio to Washington when a snowstorm cancelled the flights.
Mr Johnson, 75, is a businessman who tried to run for governor of Michigan in 2022 but was disqualified due to invalid signatures.
Despite the hiccup, it hasn’t stopped Mr Johnson from aiming big and running for president.
On 3 March, Mr Johnson announced his bid for 2024 president in Iowa where he claimed to be: “pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, anti-woke and anti-China”.
He notably has promoted a plan to cut federal spending by 2 per cent every year and pushing to complete the US – Mexico border wall.
Called it quits
Mr Suarez, the mayor of Miami, filed paperwork with the FEC on 14 June – throwing his hat in the ring of an already packed Republican nomination race.
But that did not last long as he chose to suspend his campaign on 29 August after failing to qualify for the first RNC debate.
Mr Suarez, 45, is a Cuban-American who has made a name for himself in Miami, and Florida, as a tough-on-crime conservative. But outside of the state, he’s largely unknown.
Some may remember Mr Suarez as one of the first people to contract Covid-19 in Miami-Dade County in March 2020. He documented his progression with the illness to help others understand it better.
Despite his relative obscurity, Mr Suarez expressed confidence that being the only Hispanic candidate gave him “a lot of credibility,” according to The Associated Press.
In his resignation announcement on X, formerly known as Twitter, Mr Suarez said: “While I have decided to suspend my campaign for President, my commitment to making this a better nation for every American remains.”
He added that he looks forward to supporting the eventual nominee
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