The search for former president Donald Trump‘s vice presidential running mate has intensified as his campaign has requested documentation from at least eight contenders, half of whom are US senators, according to sources involved.

The eight potential candidates who received paperwork requests include Sen. Marcio Rubio (R-Florida), Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio), Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), Sen. Tim Scott (R-South Carolina), Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Florida), Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-New York), North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and former Trump administration Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson. 

While it is unknown what documentation the campaign has specifically requested, the vetting process has been underway for the past month.

In recent weeks, Trump has frequently mentioned Rubio, Vance and Burgum. However, he has emphasized that he is in no rush to make the announcement. He’ll likely reveal his pick around the time of the Republican National Convention in July, where vice president nominees are traditionally confirmed on the penultimate night.

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“We have many people who would do a fantastic job,” Trump said in an interview last week.

“I thought Tim Scott didn’t run as good of a race as he’s capable of running for himself but as a surrogate for me he’s unbelievable,” he added. “Gov. Burgum from North Dakota has been incredible. Marco Rubio has been great, J.D. Vance has been great. We’ve had so many great people out there – Ben Carson.”

Trump’s shortlist offers a glimpse into his priorities for a running mate: someone with prior government experience and unwavering loyalty. The focus on senators and congressional members highlights Trump’s reshaping of the party, with Republicans largely supporting his candidacy and marginalizing his longtime critics.

As speculation mounts over Trump’s potential vice presidential candidates, competition among contenders and their supporters has intensified. In recent weeks, potential candidates have tried to outshine one another, demonstrating to Trump their abilities as strong fundraisers, effective campaign ambassadors and loyal defenders – even amidst his unsubstantiated claims of election interference.

On Thursday, Vance joined Trump for fundraisers in Arizona and California, which Burgum and Soctt will also attend. Additionally, in San Francisco, Vance is co-hosting a fundraiser for Trump with venture capitalist David Scott.

However, in a Thursday interview in Phoenix, Vance mentioned that he has only discussed the running mate search with campaign advisers, not with Trump himself. Similarly, Rubio stated that he had only learned about his potential status as Trump’s running mate through the media.

Amid speculation that Trump might choose former presidential rival Nikki Haley as his vice presidential running mate following her recent endorsement, Trump dismissed these rumors at a recent fundraiser.

“She’s a very disloyal person,” said Trump, complaining that she supported Rubio in 2016 despite his request for her endorsement and has remained disloyal to him ever since.

“You have to like the person you’re running with and I don’t like her. I don’t like her,” he added.

Trump also clarified that he is not worried about winning the support of Haley’s voters, saying, “All those people are going to come vote for us anyway. Who are they going to vote for?… I think if I picked Nikki Haley, it would look like such a weak decision.”

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