U.S. Sen. Tim Scott announced Wednesday he is launching a presidential exploratory committee ahead of next year’s election.
“I bear witness that America can do for anyone what she’s done for me, but we must rise up to the challenges of our time,” the South Carolina Republican said in his announcement. “That is a fight we must win.”
Scott is in his second full term as South Carolina’s junior senator. He was first elected in 2014 in a special election to replace Sen. Jim DeMint.
In all three senatorial elections, Scott has earned over 60% of the vote.
Scott is one of three Black senators and just five Black Republican lawmakers in Congress.
He said President Joe Biden and the “radical left” use race “to divide us.”
“When I fought back against their liberal agenda, they call me a prop, a token, because I disrupt their narrative,” he said, referring to a New York Times op-ed and a tweet from a Huffington Post writer, who later apologized for the comments.
Scott’s potential entry into the field would add to a growing list of Republicans vying for the nomination. They include former President Donald Trump,former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy.
In a poll releasedTuesday by Morning Consult, Trump is pulling in 56% of support from potential Republican primary voters. Scott had 1%.
According to the Federal Election Commission,an exploratory committee gives potential candidates an opportunity to “test the waters” before formally entering the election. By forming a committee, Scott can conduct polling and other activities.
Funds raised during the “test the water” phase are not reportable until that person formally declares their candidacy.