According to a statement of candidacy filed on Friday with the Federal Election Commission, Mr Scott has designated his official campaign committee as “Tim Scott for America”, with a campaign address in the Palmetto State’s capital, Charleston.
Mr Scott, who has served as South Carolina’s junior senator since 2013, was first appointed to his Senate seat by one of his presidential primary opponents, then-South Carolina governor Nikki Haley. He filled a vacancy left by the resignation of Jim DeMint, who left the Senate to lead the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.
At the time of his appointment, Mr Scott was the first Black senator to represent a state that had been part of the Confederacy during the American Civil War and the first Black Republican since Massachusetts senator Edward Brooke left the body in 1979.
The then-freshman GOP senator retained the seat he’d been appointed to in a 2014 special election and was reelected easily in 2016 and 2022 with at least 60 per cent of the vote in both elections.
He has long been considered a rising star in the Republican Party, and was given the honour of delivering the party’s response to president Joe Biden’s inaugural address to Congress in 2021.
Mr Scott, whose campaign website has teased a “special announcement” on 22 May, joins a GOP primary field that includes Ms Haley, former president Donald Trump, ex-Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy. Florida governor Ron DeSantis and ex-New Jersey governor Chris Christie are also expected to officially enter the GOP presidential field in the coming days.
Mr Trump, who has retained his preeminent position in the GOP despite being impeached twice by the House of Representatives, losing the 2020 election, inciting a deadly attack on the US Capitol in an effort to remain in power, facing criminal charges in his former home state of New York and his status as a potential defendant in at least two more criminal probes, currently holds a commanding advantage in most polls.
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