Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) formally announced on Monday that he will seek the GOP’s 2024 presidential nomination, jumping into a primary battle that has so far centered around former President Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Scott announced his decision at his alma mater, Charleston Southern University, in a speech drawing on his biography of growing up poor in North Charleston, S.C., and eventually ascending to the Senate.
“We live in the land where it is possible for a kid raised in poverty by a single mother in a small apartment to one day serve in the People’s House and maybe even the White House,” Scott said, according to prepared remarks shared with reporters ahead of his formal announcement.
“This is the greatest country on God’s green Earth.”
Scott’s announcement makes him the sixth major candidate to enter the 2024 Republican presidential primary, putting him on a list that also includes Trump, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and radio host Larry Elder.
The field is likely to grow even larger later this week, with the expected announcement of DeSantis’s campaign.
Scott’s announcement has long been expected. He formed a presidential exploratory committee earlier this year and filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on Friday disclosing his intention to run.
While Scott’s seen as an affable, well-liked senator by Republicans and many Democrats, he’s likely to face an uphill battle for the 2024 GOP nomination.
Early polling shows Trump running well ahead of any other declared or prospective presidential hopeful. DeSantis is in a distant second place, and most surveys show him as the only candidate besides Trump to score double-digit support.
Still, the Iowa caucuses, the first-in-the-nation nominating contest for Republicans, are months away, and Scott’s supporters say there’s plenty of time for the state of the race to change.