Trump’s vice presidential shortlist: Who could be his running mate?

Former President Donald Trump has narrowed his shortlist of vice presidential candidates to a handful of contenders. 

Trump said over the weekend that he has a person in mind to be his running mate and that person would be attending Thursday’s first debate between himself and President Joe Biden. 

The former president also revealed that he plans to reveal his pick in the coming days before – or perhaps even at – next month’s Republican National Convention. 

His campaign has repeatedly cautioned that anyone "claiming to know who or when President Trump will choose his VP is lying, unless the person is named Donald J. Trump." 

FILE - Former US President Donald Trump during a campaign event at the Liacouras Center at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US, on Saturday, June 22, 2024. (Hannah Beier/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

And given Trump's inclination for unpredictability and drama, his plans could change. 

Here is a look at the top contenders.

Doug Burgum

Burgum is a former two-term governor of North Dakota. 

Before he became governor, he led a software company that was acquired by Microsoft for more than $1 billion. 

He also dabbled in real estate development and venture capital and spent millions on his own presidential campaign. 

While Burgum ran against Trump in 2024, the two have become friendly. Both he and his wife, Kathryn, have gotten along well with Trump and his team. 

JD Vance

Vance is a former venture capitalist and has held his Senate seat for the state of Ohio for less than two years. 

He rose to national prominence due to his bestselling memoir, "Hillbilly Elegy," and established himself as one of the fiercest defenders of Trump's "Make America Great Again" agenda. 

Despite his early criticism of Trump, Vance has become close with the former president and his son Donald Trump Jr., who has talked up the senator. Vance has become a fixture of the conservative media circuit.

Marco Rubio

Serving as a senator from Florida since 2011, Rubio could help expand Trump’s appeal should he be chosen as his running mate. 

Rubio has established himself as a respected voice on foreign policy and national security issues and being the son of Cuban immigrants, he speaks Spanish which could help Trump win the Hispanic voters. 

However, Rubio ran against Trump in 2016 for the GOP nomination and the pair viciously attacked one another. 

Another issue the pair face is Trump’s criminal case out of Florida. 

The Constitution says two candidates from the same state cannot run as president and vice president, meaning Rubio would need to change his residency — something he is reportedly willing to do.

FILE - Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) speaks before the arrival of former president Donald Trump at the Club 47 group in the Palm Beach Convention Center on June 14, 2024, in West Palm Beach, Florida.  (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Tim Scott

Scott is currently serving as a senator from South Carolina and is the only Black Republican in the Senate. 

Choosing Scott as a running mate could bring racial and stylistic diversity to the GOP ticket. 

What’s more, Scott and Trump worked closely together while Trump was in the White House on a host of policy issues, including Trump's tax cuts, opportunity zones, and criminal justice reform legislation. 

After failing to secure his White House bid this year, Scott endorsed Trump and immediately began campaigning on the former president’s behalf. 

He continues to make frequent appearances on television and recently launched a $14 million campaign to win over minority voters in seven key swing states.

Elise Stefanik

A U.S. representative from New York, and the only woman on Trump’s shortlist, Stefanik could potentially help Trump win over the college-educated suburban women who voted for Biden back in 2020. 

Stefanik used to be an aide to former House Speaker Paul Ryan and served during President George W. Bush’s time at the White House. 

She defended Trump in both of his impeachment trials and spoke out against his criminal indictments. 

"I'm proud to be one of the strongest supporters of President Trump. And my district really tells the story of today's growing Republican Party," she told FOX News Digital. "It is Trump country and Elise country now." 

Stefanik was also one of the first members of the Republican House leadership to endorse Trump in 2022. 

Ben Carson 

Carson served as secretary of housing and urban development during Trump’s presidency. 

The pair have developed a strong bond despite running against each other in 2016. 

Carson could potentially help Trump win over the minority voters as he was the first Black person to ever be named on a Republican presidential ticket. 

FILE - Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Ben Carson speaks at the Faith and Freedom Road to Majority conference at the Washington Hilton on June 21, 2024 in Washington, DC. ( Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Byron Donalds

Donalds serves a U.S. representative out of Florida. 

He has become one of the most prominent conservative Black supporters of Trump and could help bolster the former president’s appeal to Black voters. 

Donalds is a fresh face and would help mark a stark contrast to both men who are the top of the Republican and Democratic parties’ tickets. 

But, similar to Rubio, Donalds would have to leave the state of Florida due to Trump’s ongoing classified documents case. 

The Associated Press and FOX News contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.