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Republican Sen. Tom Cotton will not run for president in 2024, source says

Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas won't be running for president in 2024, a source close to Cotton confirmed to CBS News on Sunday. 

Cotton has been calling donors and friends to inform them of his plans to not run. Politico first reported the news.

Cotton, who was first elected to the Senate in 2014, is one of the Republican party's rising stars. He has pushed a "tough on crime" agenda, including saying on "CBS Mornings" last week that "we need to crack down" following the attack on Paul Pelosi, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

"The answer to all of these crimes is to get tough on crime and throw the book at these criminals," Cotton said on "CBS Mornings."

He added that "we should throw the book" at the assailant in the Pelosi attack. 

GOP Senate Candidate Adam Laxalt Campaigns Across Nevada
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) speaks at a campaign event for Nevada Republican U.S. Senate nominee Adam Laxalt on November 05, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  / Getty Images

Cotton, in a safe Republican seat, is not up for reelection this year. He was reelected in 2020 with more than 66% of the vote. 

Since then, he has traveled around the country — including making stops in Iowa and New Hampshire, the two critical early voting contests. He has nearly $8 million cash on hand from his campaign committee's fundraising since 2017, according to Open Secrets, which could be transferred to a presidential campaign account. 

The period after Election Day in a midterm year is crucial for presidential hopefuls, as they have to prepare for the presidential election season. But the Republican party has to contend this year with former President Donald Trump, who has been mulling announcing his intention to run as soon as Nov. 14, sources told CBS News earlier this weekend. 

Republicans are favored to win control of the House of Representatives, with the latest CBS News Battleground Tracker showing the GOP leading in 228 seats. 

But Trump has laid many of his hopes on the Senate, campaigning this weekend in Pennsylvania and Florida. He is set to appear in Miami on Sunday night with Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, but not Gov. Ron DeSantis. DeSantis is up for reelection on Tuesday — and is a potential rival to Trump in 2024. DeSantis held events in three Florida communities on Sunday — far from Trump. 

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