Trump's potential running mates will compete for endorsement at a major Christian conference as speculation swirls

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FIRST ON FOX: An influential conservative group on Thursday announced a list of big names set to appear at its major annual conference next month, some seen as possible running mates for former President Trump.

The Road to Majority Conference is organized annually by the Faith & Freedom Coalition (F&F), a large Christian grassroots organization with more than 3 million members in the US. The meeting is known as the largest public policy gathering of conservative Christian activists in the US. and will focus on policy issues that matter most to voters of faith ahead of the 2024 elections.

Speakers at the conference include Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Dr. Ben Carson, former Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who left the Democratic Party in 2022, and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey. Graham and Tennessee Senator Bill Hagerty.

Republican presidential candidate, former President Trump, concludes his remarks as chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition Ralph Reed applauds at the Faith and Freedom Road to Majority conference at the Washington Hilton on June 24, 2023 in Washington, DC (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Youngkin, Noem, Carson and Gabbard have all been mentioned as potential running mates for Trump. The event marks the latest example in which some of those reportedly in the running for the role could compete on stage for Trump's endorsement ahead of the Republican National Convention this summer.

The event will also give those who may be on Trump's shortlist the chance to voice their opinions on certain policy issues important to many religious voters, including abortion and the importance of family values. These positions could become a factor in Trump's decision as he tries to find the right candidate to balance the ticket.

“Our ambition is not to be the only such organization doing this, but certainly to be one of the leading turnout tools for voters of faith in the 2024 election,” F&F founder Ralph Reed told Fox in an interview NewsDigital. before the announcement.

“If you look at the numbers, about 27% of the electorate are self-identified born-again evangelicals. Another approximately 11% consists of pro-life Roman Catholics, often present en masse. You're talking about 38% of the electorate. It is well over half and almost 60% of the total Republican vote. There is no path to majority or path to victory without this vote turning out in robust numbers,” he added.

Reed told Fox that Democrats hoped to make abortion, an important issue for some Christians, a major talking point this year because “they have nothing else to talk about. They can't talk about the economy. They can't talk across the border. They cannot talk about peace and prosperity. They're trying to change the subject and that's fine.”

He predicted that while some states will have abortion-related ballot initiatives on the ballot — a concern for some Republican strategists — voters driven to the polls to vote for those initiatives won't necessarily automatically vote for Democrats.

While he wouldn't name a specific person he thought would be the best choice for Trump, Reed said you have to “go back to 1980” to find a shortlist with as many “qualified and capable” people as possible.

Reed told Fox that more names could be added to the list of speakers ahead of the conference.

The conference will be held June 20-22 at the Washington Hilton in Washington, DC

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