Republican Sen. Tim Scott Launches 2024 Presidential Exploratory Committee

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  • Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina launched a 2024 presidential exploratory committee.
  • If he runs, the senator will be competing in the GOP primary against former President Donald Trump and fellow South Carolina Republican Nikki Haley.
  • Scott is planning another swing this week through Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, his committee said.

Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina launched an exploratory committee for a 2024 presidential campaign on Wednesday, taking a major step toward a Republican primary arena that former President Donald Trump has dominated so far.

"This is personal to me," Scott, 57, said in a video announcing the committee. "I will never back down in defense of the conservative values that makes America exceptional. And that's why I'm announcing my exploratory committee for president of the United States."

Scott's move toward a White House run puts him on track to collide with fellow South Carolina Republican Nikki Haley, the former governor and United Nations ambassador who launched her own presidential campaign in February.

Both appear to have a challenging task in trying to defeat Trump, the party's de facto leader, and dislodge prospective candidate Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as GOP voters' preferred alternative to Trump. Trump has dominated early Republican primary polling, while DeSantis has usually held the second spot.

Scott made history by becoming the first Black senator elected in the U.S. south since the post-Civil War Reconstruction Era. He is currently the only Black Republican in the Senate — two other Black incumbent senators, Raphael Warnock of Georgia and Cory Booker of New Jersey, are Democrats — and one of just four Black Republicans to serve in the chamber in U.S. history.

In his announcement video Wednesday morning, Scott slammed President Joe Biden and the left for trying to "weaponize race to divide us." He accused his political foes of labeling him a "prop" and a "token" because "I disrupt their narrative."

Scott's video was released on the day marking the start of the Civil War and was filmed near Fort Sumter, where the war's first major conflict took place in South Carolina, his committee noted.

The senator, who has been touring key primary states, is planning another swing this week through Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, his committee said.

Scott's preparation for his presidential run was well telegraphed. In a fundraising email in March, Scott even teased, "I wanted you to hear this from me first, Friend. I've made a decision…. To go to church!"

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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