By Steve Holland

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican Donald Trump is using part of this week to try out some of his potential vice presidential running mates as he seeks to make his choice in time for the Republican National Convention July 18-21.

Republicans close to the campaign say Trump and his team are considering announcing his running mate pick next week ahead of the convention to try to get maximum media buzz from the move.

As his aides vet the people on his short list, Trump is getting an up-close look at some of the candidates and talking about it publicly, dispensing with the usual tradition of keeping secret the process of choosing a running mate.

Trump met privately on Tuesday with one possible vice presidential candidate, U.S. Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, at Trump Tower in New York. The two were to travel together to a Trump rally in Raleigh, North Carolina, on Tuesday night.

On Wednesday, Trump is to be joined for an event in Cincinnati by Newt Gingrich, a former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives who Trump is considering for the No. 2 position. Gingrich has been a close Trump adviser and is well regarded at Trump Tower.

Trump, who is to be formally nominated as the Republican candidate for the Nov. 8 election at the Cleveland convention, met on Monday with U.S. Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa, another candidate on his short list.

Others on Trump's running mate list include Indiana Governor Mike Pence, who Trump met with on Saturday, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama. Christie, a former Trump rival for the Republican nomination, and Sessions are among Trump's earliest supporters in the party and closest advisers.

(Editing by Eric Walsh and Jonathan Oatis)