By Nathan Layne
(Reuters) – North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum plans to enter the 2024 presidential race and join a growing field of candidates in hopes of toppling Donald Trump and securing the Republican nomination set, according to a person familiar with his plans.
Burgum, who is serving his second term as top official of the sparsely populated state, is expected to launch his campaign with an announcement on June 7 in Fargo, the state’s capital, the person said. The governor’s office declined to comment.
Burgum, 66, built a successful software company before selling it to Microsoft Corp. in 2001. A proponent of low taxes and less regulation, he will likely try to portray himself as a traditional conservative who will focus on the economy and national security, the person familiar with his plans said.
Jeanette Hoffman, a Republican political consultant, described Burgum as a contender for the nomination, but said he has a compelling personal story and represents a steady hand that can appeal to those tired of Trump’s chaos.
“Right now, the GOP primary voters are like ‘who?'” she said. “But this could be an open field and he has a story to tell.”
A growing field of Republicans is vying for the chance to run against President Joe Biden, who is expected to win the Democratic nomination for a second term but is seen as vulnerable amid economic headwinds and low approval ratings.
Reuters/Ipsos polls from May 9 to 15 showed Trump is supported by 49% of Republicans, with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis a distant second at 19%. They were followed by former Vice President Mike Pence at 5% and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley at 4%, the poll showed.
Burgum easily won re-election in 2020 with more than two-thirds of the vote. Last month, he signed one of the toughest anti-abortion laws in the country, joining a conservative push to restrict access to the procedure in many states. He also signed the largest income tax cut in state history.
(Reporting by Nathan Layne in Wilton, Connecticut, and Jason Lange in Washington; editing by Leslie Adler)