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Donald Trump

Veepstakes on the Hill

With former President Donald Trump a lock for the GOP presidential nomination, all eyes are on who he’ll tap as his No. 2.

There are several contenders on Capitol Hill. But they risk any opportunity of moving up in the Hill ranks if they take the chance of joining Trump on the presidential ticket. Here’s a look at who we are watching in Congress:

1) Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.): As House Republican Conference Chair, Stefanik has led GOP messaging, including being one of the most outspoken Trump defenders amid his many legal sagas. Stefanik speaks with Trump frequently and has long aligned herself with the former president, despite coming into Congress as a more centrist member.

“I had said I’d be honored to serve in the Trump administration. That continues to be the case,” Stefanik told us recently.

Stefanik was the only senior House GOP leadership member who didn’t run for speaker after Kevin McCarthy’s ouster. Stefanik has a chance to move further up in Republican leadership ranks next Congress and would likely be considered for a spot in a Trump administration if she’s not his VP pick.

2) Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio): Jordan chairs the House Judiciary Committee and remains one of Trump’s closest allies on the Hill. The Ohio Republican campaigned with Trump in Ohio and Georgia this month.

“I’m traveling pretty much every weekend all over the place to help our team, so that’s what we’re focused on,” Jordan told us.

If Democrats win the majority in November, some members speculated to us that Jordan could run for minority leader. Others said Jordan would make a good White House chief of staff.

3) Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.): Donalds is a fellow Floridian and staunch Trump supporter. The sophomore has quickly made a national name for himself and regularly appears on Fox News and Newsmax. Donalds is a member of the House Freedom Caucus.

4) Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio): Vance is part of the new wave of populist lawmakers who have followed Trump’s “America First” platform, especially as it relates to foreign policy. Donald Trump Jr. mentioned Vance as a potential contender for VP.

Vance told Columbus WBNS that the best way to support Trump is to “be a good senator,” adding that that’s where he plans to stay for the next few years. “We’ll see what happens, but I like my job, and I plan to stay in it,” Vance said.

5) Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.): Trump has already floated the former presidential candidate as “a great advocate” for him. Of course, Scott’s own presidential campaign lasted roughly six months.

If he stays in the Senate and Republicans take over the chamber, Scott could become chair of the Senate Banking Committee. Scott is currently the panel’s ranking member.

6) Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.): NBC News reported that Rubio is among the VP contenders, despite Trump taunting him as “Little Marco” during the 2016 campaign.

Rubio said it would be “an honor” to serve if Trump chooses him. Rubio would be the first Hispanic to be on a major-party presidential ticket.

7) Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.): Greene is one of Trump’s loudest advocates on the Hill. The Georgia Republican appears regularly at Trump rallies and frequently talks to the former president. At the State of the Union address last month, Greene wore a “Make America Great Again” hat.

Greene also continues to falsely claim that President Joe Biden didn’t win the 2020 election. Here’s what Greene told us about being Trump’s potential pick:

There are also many contenders outside of Capitol Hill who are in the running. These include South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (a former member); former Democratic presidential candidate and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard; Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders; Arizona Senate candidate Kari Lake; and former presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy.

— Mica Soellner

Presented by AARP

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We’ve made it our business to know what matters to people 50 and over—like we know that protecting Social Security and supporting family caregivers are among their top priorities. Learn more from our polling in Pennsylvania.

Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. Political ads courtesy of AdImpact.