Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina is almost ready to reveal his decision to enter the race for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination and said Sunday he would make an announcement on May 22.
Scott did not say definitively that he will announce his official campaign, but told those gathered at a downtown Charleston school during a town hall that he would make his decision known at an event in about three weeks.
Scott, 57, has been inching closer to formally entering the GOP nomination race, where he would join other announced candidates including former President Donald Trump, former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and biotech entrepreneur.” anti-awakening” Vivek Ramaswamy.
Another of them is Nikki Haley, a former UN ambassador and former governor of South Carolina who appointed Scott in 2012 to the Senate, where he is the only black Republican. Haley has not commented on Scott’s possible entry into the race, while Scott has dismissed suggestions of any discomfort running against the former governor who nominated him for his Senate seat.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former Vice President Mike Pence are among those considering launching their own presidential campaigns in the coming months.
Last month, Scott created an exploratory committee, a mechanism that allowed him to raise money for surveys and trips related to career determination. In a video announcing that effort, Scott positioned himself as the antidote to the “radical left,” with a self-made success story as the son of a single mother who overcame poverty, and lamented that Democratic leaders needlessly divided the country by fostering a “grievance culture.”
“When I fought against their liberal agenda, they called me a prop. A tab. Because I interrupt his narrative,” he said in the video, which was filmed at the site of Fort Sumter in his hometown of Charleston, where the first shots of the Civil War were fired. “I threaten your control.”
In February, a day after the official launch of Haley’s campaign, Scott began a listening tour that took him to other early voting states, including Iowa and New Hampshire, where he held events ranging from political meetings with evangelical pastors to town halls. and speeches. In his time on the road, Scott has tried to present a more positive vision for the future than many of his potential rivals for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.
Scott told The Associated Press in Iowa that the voters he has spoken to respond favorably to his optimistic view of the country and his conservative ideals.
“I think my candidacy is really designed around what the American people want to talk about, what are their priorities and what are their problems,” Scott told the AP.
If Scott enters the race, he would have just over a month to raise money before the end of the second quarter, with more candidates in the Republican field intensifying competition for donor dollars.
But Scott has already shown that he can attract a significant amount of money. A pro-Scott super PAC, the Opportunity Matters Fund, spent more than $20 million to help Republicans in 2022 and reported more than $13 million available to start 2023. Tech billionaire Larry Ellison has donated at least $30 million to the organization since 2021, according to federal filings.
Sunday’s town hall was held at Meeting Street Academy, part of a network of charter schools founded by one of Scott’s major donors, Charleston philanthropist Ben Navarro.
Meg Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP