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Sanford delays announcement on whether he’ll challenge Trump

Former South Carolina governor and congressman Mark Sanford is delaying his announcement on whether he’ll run against President Trump in 2020 as a Republican, The Post and Courier reports.

In an interview published Monday, Sanford told the paper that he and the nation are currently focused on Hurricane Dorian and that he’ll wait until after the dust settles from the storm to announce his decision.

“As Governor he dealt with many storm preparations, and given the gravity of this storm, he encourages residents along the East Coast to pay heed to the warnings and declarations of state and county emergency operation teams,” Sanford’s team said in a news release, according to the newspaper.

The hurricane, which reached Category 5 status on Sunday but has since been downgraded to a Category 4 storm, is headed toward the southern U.S., with South Carolina among several in a state of emergency and likely to face heavy winds.

Sanford previously said he would give himself until Labor Day to make a choice. Since announcing his potential White House bid the former lawmaker has visited New Hampshire and Iowa, causing further speculation.

Sanford’s possible presidential run comes just over a year after he lost a House primary in a contentious reelection bid that was seen as a referendum on his criticism of Trump, who had urged voters to reject Sanford in the days leading up to the June 2018 primary.

If he jumps into the race, Sanford faces near-impossible odds in the effort to defeat Trump and become the Republican nominee for president.

If he decides to challenge Trump, he would join two other Republicans vying for the GOP presidential nomination: former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld and former Illinois congressman Joe Walsh.

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