Who will be Donald Trump's running mate? Here are five options
Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa speaking at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

With Donald Trump as the Republican party’s presumptive nominee , it’s time for him to start contemplating a running mate. Here are five options for the veep stakes for the outsider who has often said he would look for a number two with political experience:

Related: John Kasich to make statement in home state of Ohio – campaign live

Chris Christie

Christie’s endorsement of Trump was a pivotal moment for the campaign. But while the New Jersey governor has been a helpful and loyal surrogate, he doesn’t add any geographic balance or conservative credentials. Plus, the footage of Christie standing behind Trump looking like a hostage on Super Tuesday doesn’t help.

Newt Gingrich

The former House speaker and 2012 presidential hopeful has long been a rare pro-Trump voice in Washington DC. Gingrich would bring considerable political experience and significant public profile as a running mate. It’s just a question of whether Trump wants to double down on a ticket of thrice-married elderly men who love publicity.

Mike Huckabee

The former Arkansas governor and two-time presidential candidate has long been perceived as supportive of Trump. His daughter is already a top political aide on the Trump campaign. While many fiscal conservatives view Huckabee warily, he has solid social conservative thread and a folksy charm that would pair well with Trump’s big city bluster. It would just mean Huckabee would have to yet again give up a lucrative contract with Fox News for uncertain prospects on the campaign trail.

Mary Fallin

The Oklahoma governor has already reportedly expressed a willingness to be considered as Trump’s running mate and the presumptive nominee praised her as possibility. A two-term governor of the Sooner State who previously served in Congress, her selection would allow Trump to have a woman with significant government experience on the ticket. However, she is best known in Oklahoma for her push to carry out death sentences despite court orders to the contrary.

Joni Ernst

The gun-totin’, Harley-ridin’, pig castratin’ Iowa farm girl burst onto the scene when she won the Iowa senate race in 2014. Ernst has shown no willingness to embrace Trump, but the 45-year-old first-term female senator would be an ideal running mate for any Republican. Ernst is an Iraq veteran who won in a swing state. And as her notorious campaign ad proved, she already has the Trumpian flair.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2016