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Trump intensifies search for running mate


Trump intensifies search for running mate

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WASHINGTON – Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie top Donald Trump’s short list to be his vice presidential running mate, sources said, but the candidate is casting a wide net that also includes several U.S. senators and other governors.

With less than three weeks to go until his formal nomination at the Republican National Convention as the party’s candidate in the November 8 election, Trump’s search for a No. 2 has intensified.

The wealthy businessman, a political neophyte, has said he wants a political veteran to help him navigate the power corridors of Washington.

Gingrich and Christie, both loyal to Trump at a time when many Republican colleagues want nothing to do with him, would meet his requirement for experience – but would come with minuses as well as pluses.

Other names to watch include U.S. Senators Bob Corker of Tennessee, Joni Ernst of Iowa and Jeff Sessions of Alabama and Governors Mike Pence of Indiana and Mary Fallin of Oklahoma, Republicans close to the campaign said this week.

Trump has set up a meeting with Pence this weekend, a spokesman for the governor said on Friday. The New Yorker has also met with Corker and Fallin.

“Mr Trump is meeting with a number of Republican leaders in the run-up to the convention in Cleveland, and he has a good relationship with Governor Pence,” Trump spokesman Jason Miller said in an email response to a question from Reuters.

An experienced running mate also could help with fundraising.

Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, raised more than $40 million for her campaign in June and about $28 million for her party. Trump, who largely self-funded his primary run, has not yet released June fundraising numbers.

Trump is expected to name his running mate close to the July 18 to 21 convention. (Reuters)