GALIVANTS FERRY, S.C. — Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina started his reelection campaign on Monday, claiming that he and fellow Republicans provide growth and stability for voters in this highly conservative state.
“Sometimes you have to go back to the future, and that’s a future I want to go back to,” Scott said in North Charleston, referring to Trump’s successes and his ambition for Republicans to reclaim the Senate majority in next year’s midterm elections.
Scott, 55, has stated that he would not seek for Senate again until 2022. He has been one of the GOP’s go-to standouts, particularly on matters of race and police, as the chamber’s lone Black Republican.
Scott’s name was also suggested in a straw poll held at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference as a possible GOP presidential contender in 2024. He also delivered the party’s rebuttal to President Joe Biden’s inaugural speech to Congress earlier this year, in which he accused Democrats of dividing the country and implying that race is being used as a “political weapon.”
Scott was also scheduled to speak during the Republican National Convention in 2020.
However, Scott’s time in the limelight has not been entirely partisan. He has led a bipartisan push on policing changes this year, with negotiators announcing last week that they had reached an agreement on a fundamental framework.
Scott had already spent one term in the United States House of Representatives and had just been elected to his second when he was selected to succeed Jim DeMint by then-Gov. Nikki Haley in late 2012.
Scott, who was elected to a full Senate term in 2016, already has the support of former President Donald Trump, who offered him his “complete and utter endorsement” in a statement released through his Save America PAC earlier this year. According to FiveThirtyEight, he regularly sided with Trump in the Senate, voting with him about 91 percent of the time.
Scott presented America as a country at a “crossroads” in a launch video published Monday, with the Biden administration at the wheel, potentially racing into uncertainty and strife, while he and Republicans provide stability.
Every Republican member of South Carolina’s congressional delegation, with the exception of U.S. Rep. Tom Rice, has endorsed him in the video. The 7th District congressman, who is facing a crowded contest after voting to impeach Trump after the Jan. 6 insurgency, told The Associated Press that he was not requested to appear in the ad but supports Scott’s reelection.
The video also features praise from former Trump administration officials, including Haley, former Vice President Mike Pence, and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who may be part of a GOP presidential field with Scott.
Scott remains popular in South Carolina, according to Drew McKissick, chairman of the Republican Party of South Carolina.
In an AP statement, McKissick said, “He’s devoted to our conservative beliefs and conveys them in a real, personal way that few others can.” “We are fortunate to have him as our junior senator, and we anticipate defeating Democrats in 2022.”
Several Democrats, including Spartanburg County Democratic Party Chairwoman Angela Geter and state Sen. Krystle Matthews, have announced their candidacies to run against Scott. Since 2006, no Democrat has won a statewide election in South Carolina.