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As he launches his presidential campaign on Monday, Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina is officially wading into a GOP primary battle already largely dominated by two commanding figures: former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Scott, the only black Republican senator, will make his campaign announcement in his hometown of North Charleston after making it official last week with the Federal Election Commission. The late morning event is taking place at Charleston Southern University, Scott’s alma mater and a private school affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.
Senate Minority Whip John Thune will appear at the event and endorse Scott, according to Politico.
Then he’ll spend Tuesday with donors in Charleston before a whirlwind, two-day campaign swing to Iowa and New Hampshire.
Like others in the GOP race, including former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and “Woke, Inc.” author Vivek Ramaswamy, Scott will have to find a way to stand out in a field led by Trump and DeSantis, the latter of whom could announce his own bid as early as this week.
But Scott’s senior advisers note that political environments can shift over the course of a primary campaign, pointing to early in the 2016 race when Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush were seen as the top GOP candidates before Trump became the party’s nominee.
One way Scott, 57, hopes to make his mark is by leaning into more optimistic rhetoric than his conservative rivals. With his Christian faith an integral part of his political and personal story, Scott often quotes Scripture at his campaign events, weaving his reliance on spiritual guidance into his stump speech and even bestowing the name “Faith in America” on his pre-launch listening tour.
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