Republican presidential hopefuls are contesting 'shadow primaries' to avoid angering Trump, report says

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Nikki Haley, Donald Trump, Mike Pence
Nikki Haley, left, and former Vice President Mike Pence, right, are taking part in "shadow primaries" for 2024, Politico reported. Getty Images
  • Republican presidential hopefuls are taking part in "shadow primaries," Politico reported.

  • Sen. Tom Cotton, former VP Mike Pence, and Nikki Haley are campaigning in Iowa and New Hampshire.

  • GOP 2024 hopefuls are looking for ways to kickstart their bids without angering Trump, Politico said.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Republicans with presidential ambitions are looking for ways to campaign without angering former President Donald Trump.

While Trump mulls his political comeback, ambitious contenders are throwing themselves into House races in states with early primaries and caucuses to "put themselves out there" for 2024, the media outlet reported.

Potential candidates, including Sen. Tom Cotton, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former Vice President Mike Pence, and former Gov. Nikki Haley, are taking part in so-called "shadow primaries" in key states, Politico's Alex Isenstadt said.

"They're trying to figure out, how do you lay the groundwork without being seen as may be trying to push the president out of the way?" former Rep. Greg Walden, an ex-chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee, told Politico.

"Until President Trump decides what he's going to do, I think they can be helpful in House races in their own ways and keep focused on that and not run afoul of the big elephant in the room," Walden added.

Read more: Inside Trump's hot vax New Jersey summer, where he's playing golf and plotting rallies while legal storms form

Cotton, seen as a possible contender for the GOP nomination, is heading to Iowa this summer to launch a string of House fundraising campaigns, according to Politico.

Pompeo visited the state in Spring to show his Iowa Rep. Ashley Hinson support, the media outlet noted.

In New Hampshire, the home of the second nominating contest in the Republican presidential primaries, the aspiring contenders have started to throw their weight behind Republican parachute candidate Matt Mowers. Mowers has hosted virtual events with both Pompeo and Cotton, Politico said.

Pence, who is on a cross-country fundraising swing in a bid to increase his public profile ahead of a potential 2024 White House bid, is headed to New Hampshire next week, according to the Concord Monitor. In late April, a trip to South Carolina also foreshadowed a 2024 presidential run, Insider's Tom LoBlanco reported.

Haley has also recently endorsed female House candidates, newly-elected lawmakers, and a candidate in a New Mexico special election, Politico said.

But until Trump formally announces whether or not he is running in 2024, the jockeying for position as Republican Party presidential nominee is likely to continue by stealth.

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