South Carolina Senator Tim Scott is almost ready to reveal his decision on entering the race for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination and said Sunday he would make an announcement on May 22.
The senator didn’t say he would be announcing his campaign but told those gathered at a town hall at a Charleston school downtown that he would announce his decision at an event in about three weeks in North Charleston, which he calls home.
“It is time to make the final step,” said Scott to a room packed with cheering supporters and a film crew. A Scott adviser said he is gathering “content” for future use, like a video for a campaign ad video or a potential launch.
“We will have a major announcement,” added Scott.
Senator Scott, who is 57, has been inching closer to officially entering the Republican nomination race, where he would join other announced candidates, including former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, former U.N. Ambassador and Governor of South Carolina Nikki Haley, biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, and former President Donald Trump.
Haley appointed Scott in 2012 to the Senate, where he serves as the sole Black GOP senator. Haley has not yet commented on Scott’s potential entry into the race, and Scott has dismissed any suggestions of awkwardness in running against Gov. Haley.
Former Vice President Mike Pence and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis are also among those considering possibly launching their own presidential campaigns in the coming months.
Scott formed an exploratory committee last month, made the determination
Senator Scott created an exploratory committee last month, allowing him to raise money for travel and polling and determine whether to enter the race. In a video that announced the effort, Scott positioned himself as an antidote to the “radical left” and a self-made story of success as the son of a single mother. He overcame poverty and bemoans Democrat leaders as needlessly dividing the country by fostering a “culture of grievance.”
“When I fought back against their liberal agenda, they called me a prop —a token. Because I disrupt their narrative,” Scott said in the video. “I threaten their control.” The video was filmed in his hometown of Charleston, where the first shots of the Civil War were fired.
A day following Haley’s official campaign launch in February, Scott launched a listening tour that has taken him around early voting states, including New Hampshire and Iowa, where he’s hosted events ranging from town halls to speeches to political meetings with evangelical pastors. During his tour, Senator Scott tried to present a more optimistic, positive vision for the future than many of his potential rivals for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.
The senator told The Associated Press in Iowa that he has spoken to voters who have responded favorably to his conservative ideals and outlook for the country.
“I think my candidacy is really designed around what the American people want to talk about, what their priorities are, and what their issues are,” said Scott to the A.P.
If the senator enters the race, he would only have a little over a month to fundraise before the end of the second quarter, with more GOP candidates expected to enter the field. The addition of new candidates would intensify the competition for donor dollars.
However, Scott has already proven he can bring in significant dollar amounts. Opportunity Matters Fund, a pro-Scott super PAC, spent over $20 million to help Republicans in 2022 and reported over $13 million on hand to begin 2023. According to federal filings, Larry Ellison, the tech billionaire, has donated at least $30 million to the organization since 2021.
Scott’s town hall meeting on Sunday took place at Meeting Street Academy, part of a network of charter schools funded by one of the senator’s top donors, Ben Navarro, a Charleston philanthropist. Senator Scott was introduced by longtime supporter and South Carolina businessman Mike Johnson, who is serving the senator as national finance co-chair.