NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD/AP)- Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) formally launched his 2024 campaign for president on Monday.
Scott, the only Black Republican senator, made the announcement at Charleston Southern University — his alma mater — in his hometown of North Charleston, S.C. The announcement comes just days after Scott filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to make his bid official.
As he launches his campaign, Scott is officially wading into a GOP primary battle already largely dominated by two commanding figures: former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
He will also join another South Carolinian in the Republican race – former governor Nikki Haley, who launched her campaign in February of this year.
For the past few months, Scott has embarked on his “Faith in America” listening tour, making several stops in key early-voting states, including Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. Scott’s Christian faith has played an integral role in these stops, with the 57-year-old Senator often weaving quoted Scripture into his remarks.
In a video announcing his exploratory committee earlier this year, Scott positioned himself as the antidote to the “radical left: a self-made success story as the son of a single mother who overcame poverty. He also bemoaned Democratic leaders as needlessly dividing the country by fostering a “culture of grievance.”
On many issues, Scott aligns with mainstream GOP positions. He wants to reduce government spending and restrict abortion, saying he would sign a federal law to prohibit abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy if elected president.
But Scott has pushed the party on some policing overhaul measures since the killing of George Floyd, and he has occasionally criticized Trump’s response to racial tensions. Throughout their disagreements, though, Scott has maintained a generally cordial relationship with Trump, saying in his book that the former president “listened intently” to his viewpoints on race-related issues.
If Scott is successful in his bid, he would be the first Black person to win the Republican presidential nomination and the second elected to the presidency, following Barack Obama in 2008.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.