Former President Donald Trump’s potential competitors for the 2024 Republican nomination are assembling in Las Vegas this weekend — in what is being viewed as the first major GOP powwow in the race for the White House.
A handful of big-name Republicans — including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — are slated to speak at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s (RJC) annual leadership meeting just days after Trump, 76, launched his 2024 bid at Mar-a-Lago.
The 44-year-old DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley are all scheduled to address the gathering on Friday and Saturday.
Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Rick Scott of Florida and Tim Scott of South Carolina also plan to be part of the weekend lineup.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and former New Jersey governor and 2016 presidential candidate Chris Christie kicked off the annual meeting Thursday night at the Venetian Hotel Resort and Casino.
On the same day, the RJC announced that Trump himself would also address the meeting Saturday morning via satellite.
Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin was among those meant to attend, but withdrew at the last minute following the deadly shooting at the University of Virginia Nov. 13.
All the event’s headliners have been mooted as potential challengers to Trump, with DeSantis — who won reelection to lead the Sunshine State by a landslide last week — seen as the best hope to thwart a third consecutive Republican nomination for the 45th president.
The RJC annual meeting will draw in top GOP donors, officials and leaders from across the country at a time when several big-money bundlers have already signaled they will not support Trump’s bid for a second non-consecutive term — and will instead favor rising GOP stars like DeSantis.
So far, no Republican aside from Trump has officially thrown their hat into the ring.
But the former president, seemingly aware that he could face a tough battle against either DeSantis or Youngkin, has lashed out at both governors on his Truth Social platform in recent days.
“Now that the Election in Florida is over, and everything went quite well, shouldn’t it be said that in 2020, I got 1.1 Million more votes in Florida than Ron D got this year, 5.7 Million to 4.6 Million? Just asking?” Trump wrote on Nov. 10.
A day later, he bizarrely said Youngkin’s last name “Sounds Chinese” and claimed the Virginian “couldn’t have won without me” last year.