▶ Watch Video: Republican Gov. Chris Sununu of New Hampshire discusses potential 2024 presidential bid

Washington — New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu said Monday that he will not seek the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, bowing out as the field of GOP hopefuls grows.

Sununu announced his decision in an interview with CNN and op-ed in the Washington Post, where he wrote that the “stakes are too high for a crowded field to hand the nomination to a candidate who earns just 35 percent of the vote,” a reference to former President Donald Trump’s margin in the 2016 New Hampshire primary.

“The path to winning was clear, but I believe I can have more influence on the future of the Republican Party and the 2024 nominating process not as a candidate but as the governor of the first-in-the-nation primary state — a governor who is unafraid to speak candidly about issues, candidates and the direction of our party, untethered from the limitations of a presidential campaign and unleashed from conventional boundaries,” Sununu wrote.

He warned that Republicans who jump into the 2024 presidential race should not do so to “further a vanity campaign” or try-out for the position of Trump’s vice president. Any GOP candidate who does not have a path to victory should exit the race by Christmas, Sununu told CNN.

The New Hampshire governor predicted that if Trump wins the Republican presidential nomination again, it will ensure a GOP loss in 2024.

“It’s somebody who is in the past. He served the country. Thank you for your service,” Sununu told CNN. “We have to be a party and a country that goes forward, and if we’re only talking about Donald Trump, then we’re only talking bout relitigating elections and Jan. 6, we’re only talking about yesterday.”

The governor, a frequent critic of Trump, had been weighing whether to enter the presidential race, and said last week he would finalize a decision within days. While Sununu said he had money and support lined up, crucial to his decision was whether “it’s right for the party and right for me,” he said in his earlier interview with CNN’s “State of the Union.”

He had been positioning himself as a candidate who would put forth a vision of optimism and leadership, telling “Face the Nation” in February that he believed the American people had grown tired of “extreme candidates” and partisan gridlock.

“You got to be able to deliver, and you got to, hopefully, be inspirational and hopeful as opposed to all this negativity you see,” he said.

Sununu was elected to a fourth term as governor of New Hampshire last November. 

While the 2024 presidential election remains more than a year away, the field of Republicans vying for the nomination has ballooned in recent weeks. Seven other GOP candidates have joined Trump, who announced his first White House run in November: former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, former biotech executive Vivek Ramaswamy, conservative talk radio host Larry Elder, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former Vice President Mike Pence.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum are also expected to jump into the race.