Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, the most prominent Black leader in the Republican Party, will start an exploratory committee for a 2024 presidential run on Wednesday, according to three people with knowledge of his plans.
The announcement, which was first reported by The Post and Courier of Charleston, S.C., opens an all-but-declared presidential campaign for Mr. Scott, who will test his message this week in the early primary voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, his home state.
An exploratory committee will allow Mr. Scott, who would enter the Republican primary with nearly $21.8 million on hand in his Senate account, to raise money directly for a 2024 campaign and garner more national attention before a formal presidential announcement. He will host a donor retreat in Charleston this weekend, where he is expected to update his top donors on his plans.
Allies have already established a super PAC that is expected to be supportive of Mr. Scott, should he make his run official. Last week, the PAC announced that it was expanding through the hiring of two veteran South Carolina political operatives, Matt Moore and Mark Knoop.
Mr. Scott also teased his plans to run in a fund-raising email to supporters on Tuesday evening, saying he would make “a major announcement” on Wednesday. He will announce his plans on “Fox and Friends” on Fox News that morning, according to the email.
Mr. Scott, who will campaign in Iowa on Wednesday, in New Hampshire on Thursday and in South Carolina on Friday, is expected to heavily emphasize his only-in-America rise, a story he first told on the national stage at the 2020 Republican National Convention.
“Our family went from cotton to Congress in one lifetime,” Mr. Scott said. “And that’s why I believe the next American century can be better than the last.” In 2021, he was tapped to deliver the Republican response to President Biden’s first joint address before Congress, a speech that turbocharged Mr. Scott’s online fund-raising.
Mr. Scott’s biography, his oratorical skills and his prominence as the top-ranking Black Republican in Congress have him on many Republican short lists to serve as a potential vice president, though advisers to Mr. Scott have rebuffed that as the goal.
If and when Mr. Scott officially enters the race, he will be the second South Carolina Republican in the 2024 sweepstakes, following the entry of Nikki Haley, the former governor and former United Nations ambassador. He also joins an increasingly crowded primary field for president: Former President Donald J. Trump, former Gov. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas and the tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy have all begun campaigns. Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida is expected to join the field in the coming months.
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