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Nikki Haley starts PAC as her expected 2024 White House bid takes shape

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Election 2020 Senate Loeffler (copy)

Sen. Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga. (right) stands with former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley during a re-election campaign rally on March 9, 2020, in Marietta, Ga. Haley has started a political-action committee to help conservative candidates that will boost her profile ahead of an expected 2024 presidential run. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

COLUMBIA — Nikki Haley, the former South Carolina governor and United Nations ambassador, has started a political action committee that could bolster her brand ahead of an anticipated 2024 presidential run.

The PAC, named after her other political group Stand for America, will be "laser-focused on the 2022 midterms and electing a conservative force to the House of Representatives and U.S. Senate to serve as a bulwark against the liberal agendas of Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Chuck Schumer, and Nancy Pelosi," Haley said in an email to supporters Wednesday.

Haley has demurred when asked about her presidential ambitions. But she has taken several steps since leaving the United Nations at the end of 2018 to suggest she will run, including releasing a second book and starting the first Stand for America political advocacy group. 

In a filing with the Federal Election Commission, the new PAC lists Bradley Crate of Massachusetts as the treasurer. Crate's firm was the treasurer for Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, and he was a top financial officer in Mitt Romney's 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns. 

“Ambassador Haley is focused on supporting strong conservative candidates and winning back the House and Senate in 2022," Haley spokeswoman Chaney Denton said. A website for the PAC is already online. 

Haley wrote in her email the PAC will work to recruit and train new conservative candidates while defending incumbents in swing states. The PAC allows her to contribute up to $5,000 to campaigns and produce ads.

Importantly, the PAC will pay for Haley to travel around the country to campaign for other candidates, a move that will provide her more publicity among voters while building GOP allies ahead of a 2024 White House bid.

She spent much of 2020 campaigning for House and Senate candidates, including in the recent Georgia runoffs. Both Republican Senate incumbents lost that runoff, giving control of the Senate to the Democrats.

Still, Haley is seen as potential frontrunner if Trump does not try to seek a second term in 2024. Haley was able to walk a tightrope while in Trump's cabinet, backing the president she criticized during his 2016 campaign while touting how she was able to disagree with him on occasion. 

In her email announcing the PAC and asking for contributions, Haley sounded a lot like a candidate, taking aim at Democrats who soon will hold control of Capitol Hill and the Oval Office.

"You can be sure the Democrats won’t abandon their big-government vision in 2022, including 'defund the police,' the Green New Deal, and Medicare for All," she wrote. "They are simply 'rebranding' — which is just an attempt to hide the truth about what they really believe from voters."

Follow Andy Shain on Facebook (andyshain12) and Twitter (@andyshain)

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