First Republican to challenge Trump jumps into 2024 race

President Donald J. Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, Supreme Court Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett, and her husband Jesse Barrett greet invited guests on the Blue Room Balcony of the White House Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, after attending Barrett’s swearing-in ceremony as Supreme Court Associate Justice. (Official White House photo by Tia Dufour)

Donald Trump will definitely have competition for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, as the former president has just picked up his first challenger.

Published reports indicate former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley will formally announce she is running for president, with a formal “special announcement” planned for Feb. 15 at the The Shed at the Charleston Visitor Center.

“Haley famously said earlier she would not seek to challenge Trump if he ran again, but her message has since shifted to say the country needs to look toward a different path,” the Post and Courier newspaper reported.

In April 2021, she had said, “I would not run if President Trump ran, and I would talk to him about it.”

Nikki Haley speaks at the Republican National Convention on Monday, Aug. 24, 2020 (RNC video screenshot)

Haley served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations during Trump’s term, and her latest political song focuses on the word “new.”

“It’s time for a new generation,” Haley posted on Twitter recently. “It’s time for new leadership. And it’s time to take our country back. America is worth the fight – and we’re just getting started.”

Last week on Fox News with Bret Baier last week, Haley clearly signaled she was preparing a White House run, noting: “When you’re looking at a run for president, you look at two things. You first look at does the current situation push for new leadership? The second question is, ‘Am I that person that could be that new leader?'”

She answered herself, saying: “Yes, we need to go in a new direction. And can I be that leader? Yes. I think I can be that leader.”

Trump told reporters over the weekend in South Carolina that Haley called him to discuss the matter.

“I talked to her for a little while. I said, ‘Look, you know, go by your heart if you want to run,'” Trump said.

“She called me and said she’d like to consider it, and I said you should do it. … Go by your heart if you want to run.”

President Trump and U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley (Photo: Twitter/Nikki Haley)

Haley, 51, is the daughter of Indian immigrants, and recently told Fox News, “I think it’s time that we bring in a new generation that can bring in more people to our party.”

Sarah Longwell, a political analyst who has conducted focus groups on Republican candidates, told USA Today that Haley’s chances are “not great,” but she is an intriguing candidate and may be a possible running mate.

“Old school GOP will like her, and donors,” said Longwell, who founded the Republican Accountability Project. “But she might actually be running for VP.”

On Tuesday, WND reported that Larry Elder, the bestselling author, nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and WND columnist, announced he is seriously considering going the hunt for the Republican nomination.

“I’m going to probably announce if I decide to do it at the end of March, early April. I’ve been to Iowa about four or five times the last month. I’ve been to New Hampshire,” Elder said.

“I met a lot of people. I’m meeting with donors. I am really strongly giving it consideration. It isn’t because I want to derail Trump or DeSantis or anybody else who decides to run.”