US Republican Chris Christie says no to No Labels presidential run

By Jarrett Renshaw

(Reuters) – Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a Republican, has decided against running as the No Labels candidate for president, delivering the latest blow to the centrist, third party’s bid for the White House.

The two-time former presidential contender’s decision leaves the group with few remaining viable options for candidates as it seeks to seize on the unpopularity of the two major-party contenders, President Joe Biden, a Democrat, and Republican rival Donald Trump.

“I appreciate the encouragement I’ve gotten to pursue a third-party candidacy,” Christie said in a statement. “While I believe this is a conversation that needs to be had with the American people, I also believe that if there is not a pathway to win and if my candidacy in any way, shape or form would help Donald Trump become president again, then it is not the way forward.”

The Washington Post was the first to report Christie’s decision, which it said came after the former governor conducted opinion polls in multiple battleground states that showed no viable path to the presidency.

Earlier this month, the group said it would name a presidential ticket in the coming days, but cautioned that viable candidates willing to join a third-party bid may never be found.

In recent weeks, a parade of politicians declined to run for No Labels, including U.S. Senators Joe Manchin, a Democrat, and Krysten Sinema, an independent. Both plan to leave the Senate at the end of their terms this year.

No Labels, organized through a national nonprofit with state affiliates, has gained ballot access or finished applications in 19 states, the group announced Wednesday.

Christie, who unsuccessfully ran for president in 2016, then was an occasional adviser to Trump, was arguably the former president’s harshest critic during this election cycle’s campaign for the Republican nomination.

“I am going to make sure that in no way do I enable Donald Trump to ever be president of the United States again. And that’s more important than my own personal ambition,” Christie said in January when he ended his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination

(Reporting by Jarrett Renshaw; editing by Jonathan Oatis)


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