COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Only a few days after the primary GOP presidential debate of the 2024 cycle, two of the contenders might be hitting the identical stage in entrance of the most important annual gathering of Republicans in early-voting South Carolina.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis had already been set because the headliner on the Religion & Freedom BBQ, hosted by Rep. Jeff Duncan on Aug. 28. On Thursday, Duncan advised The Related Press that Sen. Tim Scott — invited in his capability as a South Carolina senator, not presidential hopeful — had additionally accepted a possibility to talk, as he has finished in years previous.
The occasion, which takes place in an enormous civic heart and attracts greater than 2,000 attendees, comes 5 days after Scott, DeSantis and others within the broad GOP discipline are set to take part in the first debate of the 2024 cycle in Milwaukee.
Former President Donald Trump, the present Republican frontrunner, has indicated he is unlikely to attend and should maintain a competing occasion of his personal. The controversy additionally comes throughout per week through which Trump and the 18 co-defendants charged alongside him earlier this week in a Georgia case are required to give up themselves to authorities on allegations of meddling within the 2020 election outcomes.
Duncan’s occasion, a fundraiser benefiting his reelection marketing campaign, has lengthy been a showcase for attainable White House contenders, together with former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, then-Vice President Mike Pence, Sens. Ted Cruz, Joni Ernst and Marco Rubio, and former U.N. Ambassador and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who’s now a part of the 2024 discipline.
In a state the place success has traditionally been a catalyst for GOP presidential nominees, the South Carolina venue gives DeSantis a possibility to make his case in entrance of numerous occasion activists, with whom Trump — who earlier this month headlined the state Republican Get together’s annual fundraiser — stays standard.
Nevertheless it’s not simply the headliner who attracts consideration. Final 12 months, earlier than Pompeo’s keynote, Scott gave a rousing speech that drew thunderous applause from the barbecue crowd.
The chance to deal with a crowd of 1000’s in his dwelling state — which holds the primary GOP presidential main within the South — comes as Scott’s presidential marketing campaign prepares to kick in to excessive gear within the closing months earlier than the primary votes are forged subsequent 12 months.
On Thursday, Scott’s marketing campaign advised the AP that it had bought $8 million in advert area within the important early-voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire, planning a tv, radio and digital marketing campaign that may run via the top of November. That buy comes on the heels of a $6 million advert purchase the marketing campaign launched as Scott kicked off his marketing campaign in Could.
It additionally follows main spending by a brilliant political motion committee backing Scott, which started a $7.25 million tv and digital advert purchase when he entered the race. When that ends on Labor Day, the group’s $40 million reservation in early-state air time will start.
Scott’s marketing campaign has lengthy burdened that his robust ability to fundraise, coupled with the greater than $20 million he transferred to his presidential coffers from his Senate marketing campaign account, would imply their candidate might keep on the air in key states in methods others won’t have the ability to.
As DeSantis and Scott put together to each take the stage on the occasion hosted by Duncan — certainly one of solely two Republicans in South Carolina’s delegations not already aligned with a presidential candidate — voters within the state are nonetheless mulling their choices.
At a DeSantis occasion in Greenville, South Carolina, earlier this summer season, businessman Dean Estep stated he is at the moment backing the Florida governor, and already has a operating mate for him in thoughts.
“Tim Scott’s a first-class man,” Estep stated, earlier than the query about who he’d prefer to see on a ticket with DeSantis was even completed. “He’s only a image of America.”
Meg Kinnard could be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP.