Mike Pence is preparing for a run for the presidency in 2024 by raising $18 million this year.
Why it is important: Although polls show Donald Trump to be the early Republican favorite, his former vice-president has also been moving towards becoming a candidate. His group, Advancing American Freedom is being used to test the waters and build the infrastructure necessary for a White House bid.
Driving the news: The group is staffed with some of Pence’s top allies, ex-aides, and political advisers, such as Marc Short, former chief of staff, Marty Obst, and Paul Teller, former senior Trump White House staffer.
- According to a source, donors were asked to contribute a percentage of the target amount at a Jackson Hole retreat.
- According to reports filed with state charity regulators, AAF also has three fundraising companies to help it build its war chest.
- A source familiar with the group’s operations said it’s aiming to raise $18 million during its first year — a huge sum for a new nonprofit group that doesn’t offer its donors a tax break.
Between the lines: AAF was a platform that Pence used to promote his social conservative brand and his media appearances.
- The group was launched in April and has spent approximately $60,000 on digital ads to promote the Indiana Republican Party and ask for donations.
- AAF could be a platform for pre-campaign activities, such as polling or candidate travel, if Pence is serious about a run in 2024. It could also invest a large portion of its funds in a political support group if he is elected.
The big picture: A Pence run looks stronger as he participates in political events within key presidential swing states.
- He has also raised funds for prominent Republicans, such as Kevin McCarthy (R.Calif.), Glenn Youngkin (Va. gubernatorial hopeful), and Randy Feenstra (Iowa Republican Rep.).
- AAF is also working to improve Pence’s social conservatism with a pair briefs filed at the Supreme Court.
- One seeks to overturn Roe v. Wade and the other aims to strike down limits on state education funding for religious schools.