Iowa Senator Joni Ernst Drops Out of Donald Trump's Veepstakes

After Trump and Ernst met this week in New Jersey, the presidential nominee raved about the senator on Twitter

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Donald Trump may not be appointing a woman as his running mate after all.

Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, the lone woman on the rumored shortlist of Trump’s potential vice presidents, essentially excused herself from the running Wednesday, just a few days after a “great” meeting with the Republican presidential nominee.

“I made that very clear to him that I’m focused on Iowa,” Ernst, 46, told Politico. “I feel that I have a lot more to do in the United States Senate. And Iowa is where my heart is.”

The first-term senator continued: “I’m just getting started here. I have a great partner with Chuck Grassley, we’ve been able to accomplish a lot. And I think that President Trump will need some great assistance in the United States Senate and I can provide that.”

Ernst said she will instead “participate more as an advocate” in Trump’s campaign in the coming months and will offer him advice about how to win in her crucial swing state.

“I would love to assist him out on the trail,” she added.

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So then who’s her favorite to serve alongside Trump as his veep?

“I will admit that I am a Mike Pence fan,” Ernst said. “He is so well rounded, served as a governor and I think he’s a great conservative. So I don’t think he could go wrong.”

Ernst and Trump met at the real estate mogul’s New Jersey golf club on Monday. After the meeting, Trump raved about the Iowa senator.

“It was great spending time with @joniernst yesterday. She has done a fantastic job for the people of Iowa and U.S. Will see her again!” he tweeted on Tuesday.

Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, previously a favorite for Trump’s No. 2 spot, revealed Wednesday that he too had removed himself from consideration for the position.

“There are people far more suited for being a candidate for vice president, and I think I’m far more suited for other types of things,” Corker told the Washington Post.

Still in the running for the spot, however, are Pence, the Indiana governor with whom Trump met on Sunday, Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan is another name that has bubbled up among GOP sources as of late.

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