Former South Carolina governor and United Nations ambassador had previously said she wouldn’t challenge Donald Trump for the nomination, if he ran again
Nikki Haley, a former South Carolina governor and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, intends to launch a White House bid Feb. 15, according to a person familiar with her plans, challenging former President Donald Trump for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.
A critic of Mr. Trump before becoming his representative at the U.N. for two years, Ms. Haley is expected to formally make her announcement in Charleston, S.C.
Ms. Haley, 51 years old, had long been mentioned as a potential national candidate, in part because her biography as the daughter of Indian immigrants could provide a compelling narrative for a party that has struggled to attract support from nonwhites. Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota is the only other woman known to be contemplating a 2024 GOP presidential bid.
No woman has won the presidency, although more than 20 have tried, according to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University. Vice President Kamala Harris became the first woman to hold the No. 2 job when President Joe Biden won in 2020.
Mr. Trump is the only announced GOP presidential candidate so far. Mr. Biden is expected to make a formal announcement about his reelection plans between early March and early April.
A number of other Republicans are also believed to be contemplating entering the race, including former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, former Vice President Mike Pence, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott and Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin.
Ms. Haley’s plans were reported earlier by The Post and Courier of South Carolina.
The former governor has disagreed with Mr. Trump on the outcome of the 2020 election.
“There was fraud in the election, but I don’t think that the numbers were so big that it swayed the vote in the wrong direction,” she said in a Wall Street Journal interview in October 2021.
Her approach to navigating Mr. Trump has varied over time. She was sharply critical of him during an appearance before the Republican National Committee just after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot in 2021, saying his actions would be “judged harshly by history.”
Those remarks angered some Republicans loyal to Mr. Trump, and Ms. Haley softened her approach. She said in April 2021 that she wouldn’t embark on a 2024 bid if he decided to run again, as he announced in November that he had.
In the run-up to her announcement, Ms. Haley repeatedly suggested it was time for a “new generation to lead.”
On Jan. 28, Mr. Trump told reporters traveling with him on a campaign swing that she had recently called him to talk about a possible White House bid and that he had encouraged her to run, while noting her previous claim she wouldn’t challenge him.
A spokesman for Mr. Trump didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment late Tuesday.
A larger GOP field could help Mr. Trump’s prospects of winning the nomination. In 2016, he benefited from fracturing of support among a field of candidates that approached 20 at its peak.
Since resigning her U.N. post in October 2018, Ms. Haley has traveled the nation, including states that will host the first 2024 nominating contests, to promote Republican candidates and build her own fundraising network.