Next in my series: President Castro's administration gets off to a rough start as the economy enters into a recession in the fall of '21. While nowhere near the level of the 2008 recession, it's enough to cost the democrats the Senate - not to mention their best shot at the House in a decade - in the 2022 mid-terms. Making matters worse is the brewing civil war in Pakistan. Concerned that terrorist groups - not to mention the fundamentalist Islamic faction on one side of the war - might get their hands on the country's nuclear weapons, Castro seeks international help from both the Russians and the Chinese, but the plan backfires when Russia seizes a key Pakistani military base thought to contain nuclear weapons. China begins to view Russia as a threat as a result and despite his best efforts to manage the crisis, Castro is viewed as weak at home by many. Heading into the 2024 election cycle, Rand Paul opts out of running again, opening things up for his 2020 running mate, Oklahoma Governor T.W. Shannon, who emerges as the early favorite for the GOP nomination. Shannon sees competition from former Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte, Michigan Governor Brian Calley, and former North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory among others. By the time the first contest - the Colorado caucus - rolled around Shannon was running neck and neck with Brian Calley, who had emerged as the establishment favorite vs. the more conservative Shannon. While Shannon wins in Colorado, Calley takes the next three contests in Iowa, Florida, and Pennsylvania. Despite Shannon wins in Oklahoma, Georgia, and Arizona Calley pulls ahead with wins in his home state of Michigan, New Hampshire, and New Jersey. On Super Tuesday Brian Calley wins big, taking all but two primaries. He secures the nomination in late March with his victory in Minnesota, marking a major win for the center-right wing of the GOP. Governor Calley selects Senator Kelly Ayotte as his running mate and early polls show him in the lead over President Castro due to economic trouble as well as voter dissatisfaction with Castro's handling of the Pakistan/Russia/China situation. Despite two debates that are generally viewed as draws, Governor Calley becomes the first republican elected President since 2004 by a solid margin, taking several usually blue states such as Minnesota, Maine, and his home state of Michigan.