WASHINGTON – South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott officially entered the presidential race Friday by filing required paperwork with the Federal Election Commission.
Scott, who formed an exploratory committee last month, is scheduled to make his announcement speech Monday in his hometown in North Charleston, S.C.
“American families are starving for hope,” Scott tweeted on Thursday. “We need to have faith. Faith in God, faith in each other, and faith in America.”
Scott, the lone Black Republican in the Senate, is vying to be the first African-American to win the GOP nomination, and he would be the second elected to the White House, following Democrat Barack Obama in 2008.
A former congressman, Scott enters the race well behind in the polls to former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, however.
But the devoutly evangelical Scott, who has put his faith and hardship upbringing at the center of his campaign, will enter the race flush with money. He has squirreled away roughly $22 million cash-on-hand, which his aides argue makes him one of the few GOP contenders who can seriously challenge Trump’s dominance.
The budding campaign has also carved out about $6 million in TV and radio ads and has placed his first TV ad spending in early presidential primary states, according to Medium Buying.
Scott proved to be a formidable fundraiser during the 2022 campaign when he hauled in $43.1 million for his reelection, according to Federal Election Commission records. A Scott-aligned super PAC, Opportunity Matters Fund Action, has almost matched that figure, raising about $37.3 million, according to OpenSecrets.
Scott will need every penny to build up his name recognition as he hovers around 2% in the primary surveys.
He is not the only South Carolinian in the race. Former Gov. Nikki Haley, who appointed Scott to a vacant U.S. Senate seat in late 2012, is also running.
This story will be updated.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Sen. Tim Scott files to run for president in 2024