The first domino has fallen in the 2024 race for the Republican presidential nomination — and it doesn’t involve Donald Trump.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) said Monday he will not try for the White House on the grounds that he doesn’t want to be away from his family — the first high-profile GOPer to bow out as Trump appears poised to enter the race.
“This is not the right time for our family for me to commit to a six-to-seven day a week campaign for the next two years,” Cotton told Fox News.
Cotton, an Army veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, has two sons with his wife, Anna. He represented Arkansas for a single two-year term in the House before his initial election to the Senate in 2014.
“My boys are age seven and five,” the senator told Fox. “They’re old enough to know that dad’s gone and be sad about it but not old enough to understand the purpose and why it all matters and why the sacrifice is worth it.”
The senator has been contacting donors, supporters and top Republicans to alert them to his intention of not running, Politico first reported on Sunday.
“I am pretty sure Republican voters can find another nominee, but I know that my sons can’t find another dad for the next two years,” he said.
But Cotton indicated his decision only pertained to the 2024 presidential election.
“This is a decision only about this 2024 race and this time for my family,” he said. “We’ll make a decision about future races in the future, especially as my boys get older and understand more about why I do the work I do and what it means for them and for our country.
“I’m just closing the chapter on the 2024 race right now and looking forward to continuing to work in the Senate with the new Republican majority and watching the 2024 race unfold and hoping we take back the White House,” Cotton added.
Trump plans to announce he is running for president again later this month after Tuesday’s midterm elections, when Republicans are favored to regain control of the House and possibly the Senate, The Post reported last week.
At a rally in Iowa last Thursday, the former president said he “will very, very, very probably do it again.”
Cotton, who has been crisscrossing the country in support of Republican House and Senate candidates, said Trump jumping into the race didn’t come into play with his decision, emphasizing that “family was the only consideration as my wife and I reflected and prayed on the matter the past few months.”
Asked if he would support a Trump candidacy, Cotton said he would “back the Republican nominee.”
“For the moment as I close the 2024 chapter for myself, I anticipate focusing on my work in the Senate and letting the campaign unfold on its own dynamic,” he said.
He said he intends to run for reelection in 2026, but noted that he would be open to a Cabinet post in a 2024 Republican administration.
“Under the right circumstances, if a Republican president asked me to consider such a job, I’d of course consider it any time a president asks one to serve the nation.”
The post Sen. Tom Cotton says he won’t run for president in 2024, cites family appeared first on New York Post.