Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina is announcing Monday that he is seeking the Republican nomination for president, kicking off his campaign with an event in North Charleston.
He will be joined by South Dakota’s longtime senator, Minority Whip John Thune, who is number two in the Republican Senate leadership. Thune has long been opposed to former President Donald Trump, saying in December 2020 that any attempt to overturn the election results in the Senate would go down like a “shot dog.”
Scott, the Senate’s lone Black Republican, filed his statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission on Friday.
He launched an exploratory committee in April and is in his hometown of North Charleston on Monday to announce his candidacy, before hitting the campaign trail in Iowa and New Hampshire. According to an adviser, his campaign has bought $5.5 million in television ads that will air statewide in the early-voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire. The ads will run through the first GOP presidential debate, in a buy that includes broadcast TV, cable, satellite and radio.
How to watch Sen. Tim Scott’s presidential announcement
What: Sen. Tim Scott announces he is running for president
Date: Monday, May 22
Time: 11 a.m. ET
Location: North Charleston, South Carolina
Online stream: Live on CBS News in the player above and on your mobile or streaming device.
Scott’s campaign will also launch what his adviser said was a substantial seven-figure digital ad campaign during that period.
This is the largest candidate ad buy of the 2024 GOP primary campaign to date. Scott enters the race with $22 million cash on hand.
The formalization of his candidacy allowed his team to put his campaign in motion before Monday’s announcement, including properly filing the new ads buys it announced Friday.
Scott, who was the first Black senator elected from the South since Reconstruction, is positioning himself as the optimistic candidate in the 2024 Republican field, in contrast with Trump, the early front runner. Senior campaign officials believe his optimistic tone could help carve out a lane for Scott to cut through attention paid to Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
“I see a future where common sense has rebuilt common ground,” Scott said in a speech in February at Drake University in Des Moines, according to the Des Moines Register. “Where we’ve created real unity, not by compromising away our conservatism, but by winning converts. Where our movement can once again carry 49 states and the popular vote.”
Senior Scott campaign officials were confident that the financial advantage Scott has, and his fundraising capability, evident in past elections, will keep the campaign running ads throughout the race. They note the cheaper rates campaigns get for advertisement buys, compared to super PACs.
Asked about the policy differences between Scott and Trump, the officials said they would consistently discuss policies and ideas popular with the Republican base, and connect Scott’s life experiences to them.
Caitlin Huey-Burns contributed to this report.