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Former Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan will not run with No Labels as it seeks a 2024 candidate

FILE - Former Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan leaves the Fulton County Courthouse, Aug. 14, 2023, in Atlanta. Duncan said Monday, March 18, 2024, that he would not run as a third-party candidate affiliated with No Labels, a political group that's considering launching an independent campaign for the White House. (AP Photo/Alex Slitz, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Former Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, a leading contender in No Labels' push to recruit a presidential nominee, has ruled out a 2024 bid.

Duncan, a Republican, had been in communication with the centrist group in recent weeks about running for the White House under the No Labels banner this fall. The well-funded organization has already secured ballot access in more than a dozen states.

“After careful deliberation, I have withdrawn my name from consideration for the No Labels presidential ticket," Duncan said in a statement. “It was an honor to be approached, and I am grateful to all those who are engaged in good-faith efforts to offer Americans a better choice than the Trump vs. Biden re-match.”

The former Georgia leader becomes the latest would-be candidate to turn down No Labels, a list that includes Republican former presidential candidate Nikki Haley, Republican former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Democratic retiring West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin.

No Labels has been working aggressively — and privately — to field a so-called “unity ticket” designed to provide voters with an alternative to former President Donald Trump, a Republican, and President Joe Biden, a Democrat, in the general election.

Polls suggest many Americans don’t want a 2020 rematch, a dynamic No Labels sees as an opening to offer a bipartisan ticket. But Democrats are especially worried that a No Labels candidate would undermine Biden’s reelection.

Duncan, who has been critical of Trump, said he would continue focusing on efforts to improve the GOP “so we can elect more common-sense conservative candidates in the future.”

Duncan's announcement comes less than two weeks after No Labels' delegates voted to move forward with the process of nominating a candidate.

No Labels did not immediately respond when asked to comment on Duncan's announcement.

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Follow the AP's coverage of the 2024 election at https://apnews.com/hub/election-2024.