With an eye on a potential 2024 presidential run, former Vice President Mike Pence is beefing up his political staff, Pence advisers tell CBS News.
Ali Kjergard, formerly a spokesperson for Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska, will be communications director for Pence’s pre-campaign, the nonprofit organization Advancing American Freedom. Pence is assembling a larger communications staff in early 2023, advisers said, and will also build up his fundraising team, with more hires expected in early 2023.
“We are excited to have Ali join us,” said Pence’s longtime senior advisor Marc Short, adding that she starts next week.
Three senior Pence advisors will be integral parts of the emerging political operation: Short, Devin O’Malley, his senior communications aide, and Chip Saltsman, a veteran of several Republican campaigns, including as Mike Huckabee’s campaign manger in 2008.
Pence, as first reported by Politico, will be taking a tour of mega-churches around the country in key states, a separate Pence aide confirmed.
The former vice president will also be traveling to early presidential events in New Hampshire.
Pence,with CBS News “Face the Nation” moderator Margaret Brennan, said he thinks there will be “better choices” for president in 2024 than his former boss. Pence noted the previous administration’s accomplishments, but conceded that “obviously it didn’t end well.”
“While the president and I parted amicably, I believe as we look to the future, we’ll have better choices,”.
Whatever happens, Pence told CBS News he looks forward “to being involved in the process in some way.”
“Whether we are in the debate as a candidate, or in the debate as simply as an active Republican, I look forward to getting behind the Republican cause and supporting candidates around the country as well as our nominee to get this country turned back to the policies that will make us strong and prosperous again,” he said.