Pence Qualifies for First G.O.P. Debate, His Campaign Says

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Former Vice President Mike Pence on Monday crossed the threshold of 40,000 unique donors required to take part in the first Republican presidential primary debate, his campaign said.

Mr. Pence had already met a polling threshold required by the Republican National Committee, his team has said. Hitting both benchmarks means that Mr. Pence is the eighth candidate to qualify for the debate stage on Aug. 23.

A spokesman for Mr. Pence did not respond to a message seeking comment. Fox News earlier reported Mr. Pence’s qualification; a person familiar with the matter confirmed the report, which said that the Pence campaign had made a point of noting it was the first to submit its information to the R.N.C. to be verified.

The question of whether Mr. Pence would make the debate stage in Milwaukee for the first face-off of the primary season has lingered for weeks, since shortly after he entered the race.

Others who have said they have qualified for the debate are Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida; former Gov. Nikki Haley and Senator Tim Scott, both of South Carolina; former Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey; the businessman Vivek Ramaswamy; and Gov. Doug Burgum of North Dakota.

Former President Donald J. Trump qualified long ago, but he has made clear that he is not inclined to attend the debate. However, Mr. Trump told party officials at a recent meeting that he was keeping an open mind about it.

Like other non-Trump contenders, Mr. Pence needs the debate stage to try to gain traction.

Mr. Pence is running as a traditional, Reagan-esque conservative in a party transformed by the man he served as vice president.

Mr. Pence has been in headlines for the past week, since Mr. Trump was indicted on four counts related to his efforts to thwart the transfer of power to Joseph R. Biden Jr. and remain in office. Mr. Pence’s refusal to go along with Mr. Trump’s pressure campaign, in which Mr. Trump sought for the vice president to use his ceremonial role overseeing the Electoral College certification in Congress to reverse the election outcome, factors heavily into the indictment.



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