By Jasper Ward
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu said on Monday he would not join the packed field vying for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, saying too many candidates would help former President Donald Trump win the nomination.
“Our party is on a collision course toward electoral irrelevance without meaningful corrective action,” Sununu said in a Washington Post opinion piece.
“The stakes are too high for a crowded group to hand over the nomination to a candidate who only gets 35% of the vote, and I will help ensure that does not happen.”
Sununu, who has served as governor of the tiny New England state since 2017, had said he was considering running. He ultimately concluded he could have more sway over the Republican Party by staying out of the race and leading the nation’s first presidential primary state, he wrote.
Trump is the frontrunner among at least nine Republicans who entered the Republican contest or said they planned to.
Sununu said Trump broke several campaign promises during his tenure and pointed to the former president’s ongoing legal challenges.
“If he’s the nominee, Republicans will lose again. Just like we did in 2018, 2020, and 2022. That’s indisputable, and I’m not prepared to let that happen without a fight,” said Sununu.
Former Trump Vice President Mike Pence became the latest to join on Monday. Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum were scheduled to launch their campaigns this week.
Sununu said Republican candidates should not enter the race to pursue “a vanity campaign, to sell books, or to audition to become Donald Trump’s vice president.”
He pointed to the party’s losses in the ballot since 2017, adding that it will continue to happen unless Republicans “undergo a course correction.”
(Reporting by Jasper Ward; Editing by Doina Chiacu)