South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott Officially Enters GOP Presidential Race; DeSantis Likely Next

Mitch Perry, Florida Phoenix

The field of candidates vying for the Republican nomination for president in 2024 is growing, with South Carolina U.S. Sen. Tim Scott officially announcing his candidacy for the White House on Monday.

“We live in the land of opportunity. We live in the land where it is absolutely possible for a kid raised in poverty, in a single parent household in a small apartment, to one day serve in the People’s House. And maybe even the White House,” the 57-year-old lawmaker said while addressing a crowd of supporters who gathered at Charleston Southern University in his hometown of North Charleston to hear his speech, based on a video recording.

Scott was first elected to Congress representing the Charleston area in 2010. A month after he was reelected in 2012, then South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley appointed him to replace retiring Sen. Jim DeMint. In 2014 he won an election to serve in the remaining two years in DeMint’s seat, and was subsequently reelected to a full six-year term in 2016, according to Ballotpedia.

Scott is the only Black Republican serving in the U.S. Senate. (Only two other senators are Black in the U.S. Senate — New Jersey’s Cory Booker and Georgia’s Raphael Warnock.)

Scott comes into the race initially well-funded, after he converted nearly $22 million in funds from his Senate campaign committee to his presidential exploratory committee last month.

He is the second South Carolinian in the Republican race for president this cycle. Nikki Haley, the former governor and later U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, entered the contest in January.

The next Republican expected to officially enter the GOP race this week is Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, though he may not be the last Floridian to join the growing field of presidential candidates.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez told CBS’ Face the Nation on Sunday that he is seriously considering a presidential run, and realizes he needs to decide soon. “It’s a soul searching process with my family,” Suarez told host Margaret Brennan. “And every single day we talk about it, my wife and I, and we’re getting much, much closer to making a final decision.”

On March 7, investor billionaire Kenneth Griffin — formerly from Chicago and now in Miami — donated $1 million to Suarez, according to Florida’s campaign finance data.

National and state polls show former President Donald Trump as the early front-runner in the Republican race for president in 2024. Trump announced his candidacy for president last November.

Florida Phoenix is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Florida Phoenix maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Diane Rado for questions: Follow Florida Phoenix on Facebook and Twitter.

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