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Trump Campaign Hits The Panic Button As Top Republicans Line Up For Primary Challenge In 2020

Donald Trump’s campaign is taking steps to minimize the possibility the president could face a Republican challenger next year, working to change state party rules, issue endorsements and lobby state officials to ensure only Trump appears in GOP primary contests.

The news comes as former Gov. William Weld (R-Mass.) rejoined the Republican Party as he considers a primary challenge to Trump in 2020.

Weld changed his party registration from Libertarian back to the GOP Tuesday, according to the Associated Press.

Weld served as The Bay State’s governor from 1991 until 1997. He later registered with the Libertarian Party and ran for vice president with former Gov. Gary Johnson (R-N.M.) in 2016.

Weld raised eyebrows last week when he told WMUR last week that he would discuss any presidential plans during an upcoming visit to New Hampshire.

“Bill Weld ran as a Libertarian candidate for vice president,” Stephen Stepanek, the chair of the New Hampshire GOP and the Trump campaign’s 2016 New Hampshire co-chair, told WMUR. “He’s a Libertarian and if he wants to run for president as a Libertarian, that’s fine. But we don’t want him back in the Republican Party.”

Former Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio) and Gov. Larry Hogan (R-Md.) are also considering primary challenges to Trump in 2020.

While primary challengers can certainly pester sitting presidents, as Pat Buchanan did in 1992 with President George H.W. Bush, none have even beaten out the incumbent for their party’s nomination. However, any challenge could derail Trump’s chances of getting reelected.

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