Former Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan leaves the Fulton County...

Former Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan leaves the Fulton County Courthouse, Aug. 14, 2023, in Atlanta. Duncan said Monday, March 18, 2024, that he would not run as a third-party candidate affiliated with No Labels, a political group that's considering launching an independent campaign for the White House. Credit: AP/Alex Slitz

NEW YORK — Former Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, a leading contender in No Labels' push to recruit a presidential nominee, has ruled out a 2024 bid.

Duncan, a Republican, had been in communication with the centrist group in recent weeks about running for the White House under the No Labels banner this fall. The well-funded organization has already secured ballot access in more than a dozen states.

“After careful deliberation, I have withdrawn my name from consideration for the No Labels presidential ticket," Duncan said in a statement. “It was an honor to be approached, and I am grateful to all those who are engaged in good-faith efforts to offer Americans a better choice than the Trump vs. Biden re-match.”

The former Georgia leader becomes the latest would-be candidate to turn down No Labels, a list that includes Republican former presidential candidate Nikki Haley, Republican former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Democratic retiring West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin.

No Labels has been working aggressively — and privately — to field a so-called “unity ticket” designed to provide voters with an alternative to former President Donald Trump, a Republican, and President Joe Biden, a Democrat, in the general election.

Polls suggest many Americans don’t want a 2020 rematch, a dynamic No Labels sees as an opening to offer a bipartisan ticket. But Democrats are especially worried that a No Labels candidate would undermine Biden’s reelection.

Duncan, who has been critical of Trump, said he would continue focusing on efforts to improve the GOP “so we can elect more common-sense conservative candidates in the future.”

Duncan's announcement comes less than two weeks after No Labels' delegates voted to move forward with the process of nominating a candidate.

No Labels did not immediately respond when asked to comment on Duncan's announcement.

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