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Mike Pence, who as Donald Trump’s vice-president narrowly escaped harm at the hands of the January 6 rioters, has declared his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination next year, pitting him against his former boss.
Pence filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission, but will formally launch his bid for the Republican nomination with a video and event in Des Moines, Iowa, on Wednesday – his 64th birthday.
The former congressman and Indiana governor, an evangelical conservative, enters a primary dominated by Trump, who enjoys commanding polling leads, well clear of his nearest challenger, the rightwing Florida governor, Ron DeSantis.
A Pence run has long been expected but he has not registered significantly in polling, generally contesting third place with the former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley.
Other declared candidates include the South Carolina senator Tim Scott, the former Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson and Vivek Ramaswamy, a biotech entrepreneur.