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N.H. Governor Sununu says he will not run for president in 2024

New Hampshire Governor Chris SununuJemal Countess/Photographer: Jemal Countess/Get

WASHINGTON — Governor Chris Sununu of New Hampshire, a Republican who spent months publicly teasing the possibility of running for president, on Monday announced that he is taking a pass, citing the swiftly growing field and the paramount importance, to him, of beating former President Trump.

“I will not seek the Republican nomination for president in 2024,” Sununu tweeted Monday. “The stakes are too high for a crowded field to hand the nomination to a candidate who earns just 35 percent of the vote, and I will help to ensure this does not happen.”

Sununu’s decision to stay out of the race comes the same week the Republican presidential field is set to expand significantly, with former Vice President Mike Pence, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and the little-known Governor Doug Burgum of North Dakota all expected to announce runs of their own on Tuesday and Wednesday.


They will enter a field that is dominated by Trump, who currently holds a double-digit polling lead over Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida, who officially entered the race last week. Once seen as the most formidable opponent to Trump, DeSantis’ wobbly start has left numerous potential candidates to believe there might be an opening for them to win the GOP nomination and take on President Biden — although every new entrant to the race will dilute the anti-Trump vote, making it easier for the former president to triumph.

That dynamic has deeply alarmed some Republicans who believe that Trump, a broadly unpopular figure who faces criminal charges in New York and multiple other investigations, could cost their party the White House in 2024.

That, Sununu said, is key to his thinking.

“If [Trump] is the nominee, Republicans will lose again. Just as we did in 2018, 2020 and 2022. This is indisputable, and I am not willing to let it happen without a fight,” he wrote in an op-ed for the Washington Post.


He claimed he could be more “effective” by working from the sidelines in first-in-the nation primary, vowing to “endorse, campaign and support the candidate I believe has the best chance of winning in November 2024.”

Sununu has handily won general elections in politically purple New Hampshire by depicting himself as a moderate, consensus-building Republican who does not support banning abortions before 24 weeks, and who has avoided the culture war battles over education and transgender that have come to define his party.

His popularity at home has not translated into national renown. The scattering of polls that included his name showed him trailing the likes of Trump and DeSantis, even in New Hampshire.

Still, in his op-ed, he urged Republicans to be a little more like him if they want to win in 2024.

“We must abandon the issues that are solely made for social media headlines, such as banning books or issuing curriculum fiats to local school districts hundreds of miles away from state capitals,” Sununu wrote.

He added: “We need to expand beyond the culture wars that alienate independents, young voters and suburban moms.”

Additional entrants into the Republican presidential field include former Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, and conservative radio host Larry Elder. President Biden, Marianne Williamson, and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. are among the Democrats seeking the presidency.


Jess Bidgood can be reached at Follow her @jessbidgood. Travis Andersen can be reached at