Former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan endorses Nikki Haley

Washington — Former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, who was being eyed for a possible third-party bid for the White House, endorsed former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley on Sunday.

“It’s time for the party to get behind Nikki Haley,” Hogan told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. “I believe that Nikki Haley’s the strongest chance for us to put forth our best possible candidate for November.”

Hogan, a moderate Republican who has been critical of former President Donald Trump, announced in March 2023 that he would not seek the party’s nomination in 2024.

Months later, Hogan told “Face the Nation” that he had “not closed the door” to running for president on a No Labels ticket. The political organization is seeking to put together a bipartisan, third-party presidential ticket.

Nikki Haley, former ambassador to the United Nations and 2024 Republican presidential candidate, speaks during a campaign event in Iowa City, Iowa on Jan. 13, 2024.  / Credit: Alex Scott/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Nikki Haley, former ambassador to the United Nations and 2024 Republican presidential candidate, speaks during a campaign event in Iowa City, Iowa on Jan. 13, 2024. / Credit: Alex Scott/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Hogan recently stepped down from No Labels’ board, fueling speculation that he could be preparing a presidential run.

“Nikki Haley has got all the momentum,” Hogan told CNN. “I’ve been saying since last spring, when I made the decision not to run, that I really did not want to see a multi-car pile up that would just enable Donald Trump. I think we want to have the strongest possible nominee in November. Polls show that that is Nikki Haley, that she’s 17 points ahead of Joe Biden, and it’s a toss-up with Trump and Biden, and DeSantis is losing [against Biden].”

Hogan’s endorsement comes just one day before Republicans in Iowa will hold their caucuses, the first nominating contest on the 2024 season.

Though Trump is expected to lead by a substantial margin in Iowa, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, a moderate Republican who also endorsed Haley in recent weeks, expressed confidence on Sunday that Haley has a chance to win in New Hampshire, before going on to beat Trump in her home state of South Carolina. Sununu said the dynamic “breaks down” the assumption that the race is Trump’s “to be had.”

“So by doing that, you kind of hit a reset, if you will, in the entire campaign narrative and put Nikki right at the top of the heap,” Sununu said on “Face the Nation.”

Haley holds a bigger lead over President Biden than any other candidate in a head-to-head matchup, according to a CBS News poll released Sunday. But Trump maintains a significant lead over Haley and the other presidential hopefuls, with his support among national Republican primary voters rising to its highest level measured, according to a CBS News poll released Sunday.

Cristina Corujo contributed reporting. 

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