PALM BEACH, Fla. — Donald Trump, who lost the 2020 election and left the White House under the cloud of impeachment for his role in the Jan. 6 riots on Capitol Hill, is running for president again.
The 45th president filed a statement of candidacy for a second term on Tuesday, shortly before announcing at a primetime event at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida.
It is an extraordinary — although long anticipated — move for Trump, one certain to reshape his party’s trajectory, raise complicated legal questions and alter the presidency for the man who defeated him, Joe Biden.
For months, Trump and his team have been planning his announcement and sketching out a campaign operation. There will be no formal campaign manager for the upcoming run. Instead, two longtime Republican operatives, Chris LaCivita and Susie Wiles, will oversee operations. LaCivita will be leaving his firm, FP1 Strategies, to take on the new role.
Brian Jack, who served as White House political director for then-President Trump and currently runs Kevin McCarthy’s national political operation, is expected to also play a key role in the campaign and will focus on the nuts and bolts of presidential primary politics for Trump. In addition, Justin Caporale, a former top aide to first lady Melania Trump who also served on the Trump 2020 campaign, will have a senior managerial role. Two former Trump White House officials — Clayton Henson and Alex Latcham — will be in senior political roles on the campaign.
Taylor Budowich, Trump’s current spokesman, will not be part of the campaign but instead will oversee principal pro-Trump super PAC, MAGA Inc. Tony Fabrizio, Trump’s longtime pollster, will do polling for the super PAC.
In the past two elections, Trump’s campaign headquarters were located in New York and Virginia in order to be close to where he lived. This time, Trump and his team of advisers will work from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida until any decisions are made about the location of an official campaign outpost.
At rallies and political events during the midterms, Trump’s message has mainly focused on the economy, the border, crime and the Biden administration. But he continued to fixate on his own legal issues and his 2020 election loss, insisting without evidence that there was widespread voter fraud.
Republicans say those fixations are a liability with voters. And there are renewed fears about a Trump candidacy following the party’s poor showing in the 2022 midterm elections, when a number of candidates backed by the former president failed to win key state and federal offices.
Historically, Trump is in rare company with his announcement of another run. Only one other president, Democrat Grover Cleveland, left the White House and ran for a second term four years later.