• Running with Donald Trump carries great political rewards, but even greater risks.
  • With Trump eyeing a third presidential run, expect Republicans to jockey for running-mate position.
  • It seems unlikely — but not impossible — that former Vice President Mike Pence will run again.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

The road to the White House is not for the faint of heart, certainly not when hitching a ride with Donald Trump. 

But with the former president effectively locking down the 2024 Republican nomination process until he announces whether he’ll seek a second term, becoming Trump’s running mate may be the best for which a big group of ambitious Republicans can ever hope.

If he chooses to run — a decision that could still be a year or two away — Trump is expected to ditch former Vice President Mike Pence and seek a woman or a minority candidate to bolster his image, advisors told Insider this week.

But a presidential ticket sometimes coalesces under strange political conditions, whether it stems from a busted tire on a campaign plane, which helped secure Pence’s spot with Trump, or an impulsive urge to balance out the candidate’s age, which landed then-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin with 2008 nominee John McCain.

And if Trump’s history in business and politics is any guide, his only calculation for selecting a running mate would be winning.

Even in defeat, the political riches for a Trump 2024 running mate could be great: incessant attention, a launchpad for a 2028 presidential run. But the peril could be incalculable if Trump wins — you need to remember only the events of January 6.

Here are five kinds of vice-presidential possibilities — based on Insider interviews with Trump advisors and Republican strategists from across the ideological spectrum on the right — who might ride the Trump train through 2024.

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