Several high-profile 2024 presidential hopefuls will speak at the North Carolina Republican Party annual state convention in June, likely making their own persuasive arguments on why they are best fit to lead the GOP’s fight to reclaim the White House next year.
Former President Donald Trump and two undeclared presidential candidates, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) and former Vice President Mike Pence, will all address the three-day convention at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro, North Carolina, from June 8-11.
“We are absolutely thrilled to welcome President Trump, Vice President Pence, and Governor Ron DeSantis for the 2023 NCGOP State Convention in Greensboro, joining Republican leaders from across the state to lay the foundation for victory in 2024,” NCGOP Chairman Michael Whatley said in a statement. “This remarkable line-up is a testament to the importance of North Carolina as a battleground state and the strength of our Republican Party going into a critical election cycle.”
The convention will likely be the first time all three men are addressing a public group of Republicans in person. Both Trump and Pence gave dueling speeches at the National Rifle Association’s annual convention in person last month. (Pence was booed during his speech, while Trump triumphantly basked in the friendly audience of supporters.) But DeSantis addressed the group of Second Amendment advocates in a prerecorded video. This time around, all three men will speak in person, just not on the same day.
While DeSantis and Pence have not announced their presidential candidacy, it is widely expected that DeSantis will launch a campaign in the coming weeks now that Florida’s legislative session has wrapped up. Pence, on the other hand, said he would make a decision on running for president before late June.
Despite the declared and potential 2024 challenges, Trump maintains his hold over the Republican primary base. The former president consistently leads all other Republicans by double digits in polling, while DeSantis continues to poll in second place after Trump. The former vice president is polling in the single digits. A Morning Consult 2024 GOP primary tracker has Pence at 7% compared to Trump’s 56% and DeSantis receiving 22%.