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Donald Trump VP: Candidates, shortlist, announcement

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, New Jersey Gov. Chris

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Credit: AP; AP; Getty Images

One of the most important decisions of Donald Trump's presidential campaign is upon us: Who will the presumptive Republican presidential nominee choose as his running mate? 

Here are details we know so far about the process.


Trump said he will announce his vice presidential pick Friday at 11 a.m. in Manhattan. A text message to Trump supporters urged them to sign up to receive an early notification of his choice.


Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich are the final contenders for Trump's vice presidential candidate, a person familiar with Trump's thinking told The Associated Press.

Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions is also still in the running, Trump told The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday. Sessions is the candidate's top advocate in the Senate.


Mike Pence is a steady and staunch conservative who could balance Trump's impulsive style. He has both executive and legislative experience, as he was a congressman for 12 years. And he has bona fides among social conservatives, although some say his stock there has slid after criticism over his handling of Indiana's "religious freedom" law.

Chris Christie has centrist appeal, criminal justice chops -- and he's become one of Trump's most trusted advisers since ending his own presidential run. If points are awarded for getting on the "Trump Train" early, Christie will benefit. He's already been chosen by Trump to head his transition planning. 

Newt Gingrich has key legislative experience -- he led the House from 1995 to 1999 -- and has spent decades in Washington. Both line up nicely with what Trump has said he's looking for in a running mate. The conservative from Georgia ran for president in 2012, but only won South Carolina and his home state as he was overshadowed by former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and eventual nominee Mitt Romney.

Jeff Sessions, like Christie, gets points for loyalty, as he was the first U.S. senator to endorse Trump. His views align with Trump's on the key issues of immigration and trade. Sessions has conservative credientials and two decades of experience in the Senate -- but he does not chair a committee and has not wielded the clout of some other GOP senators.

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