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Tim Scott officially enters 2024 presidential race

Tim Scott announces 2024 presidential bid
Tim Scott announces 2024 presidential bid 00:24

South Carolina GOP Sen. Tim Scott has officially entered the 2024 presidential race, filing the statement of his candidacy with the Federal Election Commission Friday.

He launched an exploratory committee in April and plans to be 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. 

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 allows his team to put his campaign in motion before Monday, including properly filing the new ads buys it announced Friday.  

Scott, who was the first Black senator elected from the South since the reconstruction, is positioning himself as the optimistic candidate in the 2024 Republican field —  to present a contrast with early front runner and former President Donald Trump. Senior campaign officials believe his optimistic tone could help carve out a lane for Scott to cut through attention paid to Trump and Florida Governor 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 his 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. 

Following his announcement on Monday, Scott will be holding events in Iowa and New Hampshire, two early presidential primary states.

Caitlin Huey-Burns contributed to this report.

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