By THOMAS BEAUMONT Associated Press
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina plans to begin airing TV ads in Iowa and New Hampshire early next week as he prepares for an expected 2024 Republican presidential campaign.
The ad buy, valued at about $5.5 million, is scheduled to run through the first GOP presidential debate in late August and marks the most significant advertising expenditure by a potential or declared candidate in the early stages of the 2024 nominating campaign.
Scott, who last month formed an exploratory committee allowing him to raise and spend money while weighing a White House campaign, is scheduled to make a “major announcement” on Monday in his hometown of North Charleston regarding his decision on a presidential bid.
Scott has been traveling to early voting states including Iowa, which holds the leadoff caucuses, and New Hampshire, host of the first-in-the-nation primary. He’s also campaigning in his home state, which holds the first Southern primary next year.
He would start a bid with more campaign dollars than any of his 2024 rivals — roughly $22 million that he can automatically convert from his U.S. Senate campaign account to a presidential campaign. The figure is the most any candidate in history has had when beginning a campaign for president, according to the Federal Election Commission,
Aides to Scott, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss strategy not yet made public, said he could potentially run ads without interruption in the earliest voting states starting next week and lasting until the South Carolina primary.
If he enters the race, he would join a field that includes former President Donald Trump, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and radio host Larry Elder.
Several others, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, also are weighing 2024 campaigns.