Republican former vice president Mike Pence has launched his hotly-anticipated challenge to his one-time boss Donald Trump for the party's 2024 White House nomination, papers filed with the Federal Election Commission showed Monday.
The 63-year-old evangelical Christian was scheduled to kick off his presidential campaign officially with a video and announcement in the early voting state of Iowa, joining an already crowded field.
Pence's run pits him against front-runner Donald Trump, whom he once loyally stood by but refused to back when the former president attempted to overturn the 2020 election results.
A staunch social conservative, former congressman and former governor of Indiana, Pence has increasingly distanced himself from Trump, saying the former president's encouragement of the rioters who attacked the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, put him and his family in danger.
Pence joins a growing field of Republican candidates, which includes Trump, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, US.
Senator Tim Scott and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum is also planning to enter the race on Wednesday, according to a person familiar with Burgum's plans.
The number of candidates vying for the nomination concerns many Trump opponents inside the Republican Party who fear the anti-Trump vote could be split and hand the party's nomination to the former president.