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Nikki Haley to Miss Florida GOP Gathering for 2024 Candidates

Nikki Haley will not be in attendance at this weekend’s Republican Party of Florida’s “Freedom Summit” — an absence that will cost her campaign $75,000.

A Florida GOP official confirmed to NBC News that Haley told them she will not be in attendance at the Orlando event this Saturday due to family reasons. Those attending the event, which include most major Republican presidential candidates, will have to pay just $25,000 to appear on Florida’s March primary ballot, while those not in attendance will pay $100,000 for ballot access.

Haley’s campaign did not return a request seeking comment.

The absence comes as Haley’s presidential campaign has picked up steam over the past month or so. 

She has been rising into second place in early-state polls, and she turned in well-received performances in the GOP’s first two presidential debates. She was also the only candidate besides former President Donald Trump to get a one-on-one meeting with Republican megadonor Miriam Adelson during last weekend’s Republican Jewish Coalition gathering in Las Vegas, according to The New York Times.

And Haley spent Wednesday campaigning with New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, who said he is “getting closer every day” when she asked if he would endorse her. Sununu has been looking for a Trump alternative, and he did a similar day of campaign events last week with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Haley and DeSantis have been sparring with each other in recent weeks as Haley has gained momentum.

Haley was tied with DeSantis in Iowa at 16% in the recent NBC News/Des Moines Register/Mediacom survey, but the trend lines were headed in Haley’s direction. A similar poll in August had DeSantis with 19% and Haley with just 6%.

Still, Trump maintained a commanding lead with 43% of likely Iowa caucusgoers backing the former president.

The Florida GOP’s summit kicks off a Florida-focused week on the presidential campaign trail. It also comes days ahead of Wednesday’s presidential debate in Miami, an event sponsored by NBC News. Trump, who is not attending the debate, is holding a separate South Florida rally at the same time.

Trump has not attended any of the GOP debates and has urged the Republican National Committee to not hold anymore because of his lead in public polling.

Source : NBCNews