Another potential running mate for President Donald Trump has been quietly but steadily rising in stock behind the scenes. Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, a former U.S. Army officer and veteran who served in combat in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars before becoming a rising star in Republican Party politics, has been viewed as a potential running mate since he endorsed the former president in early January, two weeks ahead of the Iowa caucuses.

But buzz about the senator intensified following a slew of media reports in late May that Cotton was moving up on Trump’s list for the GOP’s vice presidential nomination, Fox News reported. “I speak to President Trump and his senior team pretty regularly about the campaign and that we’re doing everything we can to set him up for success,” Cotton told the outlet. However, he emphasized that “we haven’t talked about the vice presidential choice.”

“I suspect there’s only one person who knows who’s genuinely on his short list and who he’s going to choose and that’s President Trump, and I’m confident that with a great roster of Republicans that he’s going to make a good choice at the right time,” the senator added.

Asked if he would agree to be Trump’s running mate if the former president offered him the slot, Cotton said, “I do love my job in the United States Senate. It’s a privilege and an honor to serve the people of Arkansas and the people of our nation, but of course, any patriot if asked by the President of the United States to serve in another capacity, would have to seriously entertain it.”

During his time in Congress, the 47-year-old Cotton has earned a reputation as a staunch conservative and an advocate for small government principles. “He’s articulate. He’s smart. I feel like he’s right in the heart of what the party is and wants right now,” longtime Republican strategist David Koch told Fox News when asked about Cotton’s political attributes. Koch, who has contributed to several GOP presidential campaigns, added that the Arkansas Republican is young and that “he does the work. He’s a workhorse, not a show horse… He’s sharp and is going to be a good debater.”

The Trump re-election campaign revealed plans for an event that could feature the announcement of his vice-presidential choice. According to a campaign flyer, supporters are invited to a “Freedom First Event” during the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee on July 18, where the vice-presidential nominee will be introduced alongside former President Trump.

The event is promoted as a high-profile fundraiser, with table prices set at donations ranging from $200,000 to $300,000. Photo opportunities are available for $100,000, while a $5,000 donation includes a ticket to the reception.

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Trump has masterfully kept the public guessing about his choice for a running mate. He has often hinted that the selection would be announced at the Republican National Convention, and confirmed that his chosen candidate was present at last week’s debate in Atlanta. Following the debate, notable figures from his shortlist appeared in the spin room, fueling further speculation.

These included Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), Governor Doug Burgum of North Dakota, Senator JD Vance (R-OH), Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Representatives Byron Donalds and Elise Stefanik, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, and Dr. Ben Carson — and now Cotton. “Trump is looking for three things,” one Trump Campaign insider recently told the New York Post. “He’s looking for who can raise money, he’s looking for who is an effective surrogate on TV with adversarial media, and he’s looking at who will do the best job debating Kamala Harris.”

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Disclaimer: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.