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EXCLUSIVE: Sen Tim Scott, R-S.C., faces no opposition for the Republican nomination in next week’s primary in South Carolina.
And Scott, a rising star in the GOP, says that “without a primary, it does afford me the opportunity to help my colleagues around the country.”
Republicans aim to win back majorities in the House of Representatives and the Senate in November’s midterm elections, and Scott notes he’s continuing “to look for ways to be helpful.”
“In many ways winning back the majority this year is a team sport,” the senator emphasized in an exclusive interview with Fox News on the eve of his Thursday trip to Iowa to help raise money for the state GOP. “We are going to do our part to make sure that we create a firewall to the Biden administration and their priorities.”
Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina meets voters in Summerville, South Carolina, in November 2021. The Republican senator is running for reelection this year.
Scott was a South Carolina state lawmaker when he was elected to the U.S. House in 2010. Three years later he was appointed by then-Gov. Nikki Haley to fill a vacant Senate seat, becoming the first Black Republican in the chamber in over 30 years. He won a special election in 2014 and in 2016 earned a full six-year term.
Even though he’s not expected to face a challenging reelection this year in the solidly red Palmetto State, Scott said “as I get closer to the general election, I have to make sure that all eyes are on my state because we should take nothing for granted. There are two ways to run — one is unopposed, and the other is afraid. So since I’m not unopposed in the general election, as we turn away from the primary, I’ll be turning my attention back” to South Carolina.
In a sign of his rising stature in the GOP and among Republicans nationwide, Scott’s become one of the top fundraisers in the party. Asked about his fundraising prowess, the senator his “message of hope and opportunity continues to resonate. Americans want to know what you’re for and not just what you’re against.”
Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, the only Black Republican in the Senate and a rising star in the GOP, on June 28, 2021 launched his 2022 re-election campaign. (Tim Scott Senate reelection campaign)
And even though he likely doesn’t face a difficult reelection this cycle, Scott pointed to the 2020 Senate election in South Carolina, when GOP incumbent Lindsey Graham and challenger — and now-Democratic National Committee chair — Jaime Harrison spent nearly $200 million, with Harrison out raising Graham.
Scott said the 2020 race was “another indication of the importance of making sure that you’re raising the resources to be competitive, even at home.”
Scott on Thursday will co-headline the Iowa GOP’s Cedar Rapids Reception. He’ll be joined by Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa at the gathering.
“Senator Tim Scott is a man of integrity and has a story every American should hear,” longtime Iowa GOP chair Jeff Kaufmann told Fox News Digital recently. “At this pivotal moment for our country, it’s never been more important for Iowans to hear from Senator Scott.”
Ahead of Scott’s trip, the Democratic National Committee took aim at the senator.
“Tim Scott has spent his entire career prioritizing the wealthy and well-connected while advocating for policies that would leave Iowa’s seniors and working families behind,” DNC spokesperson Ammar Moussa said. “Iowans simply cannot afford Tim Scott and Republicans’ devastating ultra-MAGA agenda.”
The senator’s no stranger to Iowa. He headlined an Iowa GOP fundraising event last year and has also supported Gov. Kim Reynolds, Sen. Chuck Grassley, and Reps. Ashley Hinson and Mariannette Miller-Meeks, who are all running for reelection in November.
Scott’s trips over the past year to Iowa and New Hampshire — the states that for decades have held the first two contests in the presidential nominating calendar — have sparked speculation about his possible national ambitions.
But the senator has consistently downplayed any talk about a possible 2024 White House run. He told Fox News last year that his “only objective is to be the United States senator for the great state of South Carolina.” But Scott added that the 2022 race will be his last Senate campaign.
Scott on Wednesday reiterated that “my primary objective is to be successful at home and that’s really the only race I’m interested in right now.”
Asked by Fox News if he’ll be ready to answer 2024-type questions after this year’s reelection is over, Scott answered “let’s be hopeful that we win in November and then we’ll talk about whatever you want to talk about after that.”
Paul Steinhauser is a politics reporter based in New Hampshire.