Third-party group No Labels is expected to move forward with a 2024 campaign, AP sources say

WASHINGTON — The outside presidential movement No Labels plans to field a presidential candidate in the November election even as high-profile contenders for the ticket have decided not to run, two people familiar with the matter said Wednesday.

After months of uncertainty about whether the group would offer a ticket, No Labels delegates are expected to vote Friday in favor of launching a presidential campaign in this fall’s elections, according to the people familiar with the matter , who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the group’s internal deliberations.

No Labels will not announce its presidential and vice presidential picks on Friday, when about 800 delegates meet virtually in a private meeting. Instead, the group is expected to start a formal selection process late next week for potential candidates who would be selected in the coming weeks, the people said.

Democratic President Joe Biden and Republican Donald Trump’s romp on Super Tuesday all but set up a rematch of the 2020 election in November. Polls show that many Americans do not have a positive view of Biden or Trump, a dynamic No Labels sees this as an opening to offer a bipartisan ticket. But Biden supporters fear No Labels will draw votes away from the president in battleground states and are critical of how the group won’t reveal its donors or much of its decision-making.

No Labels officials would not publicly confirm plans for Friday’s meeting. In a statement, senior strategist Ryan Clancy said only: “We expect our delegates to encourage the process to move forward.”

The two people who knew the group noted that No Labels’ plans could change before the vote. But they said there was enthusiasm in regional branches for running for office, giving impetus to the idea of ​​a vote on Friday.

The group has been considering what it would present as a “unity ticket” to appeal to voters unhappy with both Biden and Trump. No Labels strategists have said they will give their vote to a bipartisan ticket with a presidential candidate from one major party and a vice presidential candidate from the other if they see a viable path to victory.

Group officials have said they are communicating with several potential candidates but have not released any names.

Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley has said she is not interested in running for No Labels. After Haley withdrew from the Republican race on Wednesday, No Labels congratulated her in a statement for “running a great campaign and appealing to the large group of healthy voters.”

Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, a moderate Democrat who is not seeking re-election this year, has said he will not seek the presidency. Republican former Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, who was involved in No Labels, is instead seeking a U.S. Senate seat in November.

No Labels has raised cash from people it declines to name, including former Republican donors who have grown disenchanted with the party’s direction in the Trump era, and worked to secure access to ballots in every state.