Ahead of his expected launch of a 2024 White House campaign later this month, Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina is making return visits the next couple of days to the two states that kick off the GOP presidential nominating calendar.
Scott, a rising star in the GOP and the only Black Republican in the Senate, spends Saturday in Iowa, the state whose caucuses lead off the GOP schedule. He’ll headline a town hall Waukee, in suburban Des Moines.
On Monday and Tuesday, the senator will be in New Hampshire, which holds the first primary and second overall contest in the Republican calendar. He’ll headline a town hall at Saint Anselm College’s New Hampshire Institute of Politics – a must stop for over two decades for White House hopefuls of both major political parties. He’ll also hold meetings in both states with Republican leaders and activists.
A source close to senator highlighted that there’s been plenty of interest ahead of the town halls in Iowa and New Hampshire.
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The stops in Iowa and New Hampshire come ahead of what’s being billed as a “major” 2024 announcement that the senator will make May 22 at Charleston Southern University. The North Charleston, South Carolina school is Scott’s alma mater, and the announcement is expected to be the senator’s formal declaration of candidacy and launch of his White House campaign.
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Saying “it’s time to take the final step,” teased the announcement at a campaign event last weekend. “Tell your friends. Be in attendance… We will have a major announcement, and you’re going to want to be there.”
Scott kicked off a “Faith in America” listening tour in February. That tour has already taken the senator twice the past couple of months to Iowa and once to New Hampshire. And Scott has also held campaign style events in his home state of South Carolina, which holds the third contest in the GOP primary and caucus lineup.
Last month, Scott launched a presidential exploratory committee. Saying that he will “never back down in defense of the conservative values that make America exceptional,” Scott announced his exploratory committee in a video that was first reported by Fox News.
Scott has been offering voters what he calls an “optimistic, positive message anchored in conservativism” as he spotlights this modest upbringing, noting that he “was raised by a single mother in poverty.”
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The senator has showcased that “individual responsibility leads to the American dream. I’ve been on both sides of the tracks and I am so thankful that my story — which is a rare story around the world — isn’t so rare in America. Made in America is a story of those who start in one place and end up in a much better place.”
Asked by Fox News last month during a stop in Iowa about the reception he was receiving from voters, Scott said “so far, so good. I am excited about where we. I am excited about the response to the message.”
Scott, who cruised to re-election last November to what he has said will be his final six-year term in the Senate, is expected to court evangelical Christian voters, who play an outsized role in GOP politics in Iowa and his home state.
He’ll join a GOP White House field that includes former President Donald Trump, who announced his third straight presidential run in November and remains the clear front-runner in the Republican nomination race.
Scott will also face serious competition from Nikki Haley, the former ambassador to the United Nations and former two-term South Carolina governor who launched a 2024 presidential campaign two months ago. Haley, who’s spending plenty of time on the campaign trail in Iowa and New Hampshire, and Scott share many of the same allies and donors.
Former two-term Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson formally launched a Republican presidential campaign late last month. Among the other candidates in the race are multi-millionaire entrepreneur, best-selling author and conservative commentator Vivek Ramaswamy, who announced his bid in February, Michigan businessman and 2022 gubernatorial candidate Perry Johnson, who launched his campaign in March, and conservative radio talk show host and former California gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder, who declared his candidacy last month.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis remains on the 2024 sidelines but is expected to launch a presidential campaign in the coming weeks. And former Vice President Mike Pence, who’s made numerous trips the past two years to the early voting states as he moves towards launching a presidential campaign, said recently that he’ll have a 2024 decision in weeks. Former two-term New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has said he’ll decide in the next two weeks whether he’ll launch a second Republican White House run. And GOP Gov. Chris Sununu of New Hampshire is also seriously mulling a presidential run.
Scott’s known as ferocious fundraiser and had roughly $22 million in his campaign coffers at the end of March, which could be transferred to a presidential campaign. The fundraising war chest could give Scott a head start over some of his rivals.
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