Republican senator Tim Scott preparing presidential run – report | US elections 2024

South Carolina senator Tim Scott is reportedly taking steps to seek the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.

Reporting the news, the Wall Street Journal cited anonymous sources “familiar with his plans”. Jennifer DeCasper, a senior adviser, said the senator was “excited to share his vision of hope and opportunity and hear the American people’s response”.

A stringent conservative but also the only Black Republican in the US Senate, Scott, 57, has worked publicly if unsuccessfully with Democrats on attempts to agree to policing reform.

Last August, he appeared to confirm his ambition for a presidential run.

His book, America: a Redemption Story, contained small print including a description of “a rising star who sees and understands the importance of bipartisanship to move America forward” and saying “this book is a political memoir that includes his core messages as he prepares to make a presidential bid in 2022”.

Scott’s publisher, Thomas Nelson, apologised for what it called an “error … not done at the direction or approval of the senator or his team”.

Concrete steps made by Scott have included appointing co-chairs of a fundraising Super Pac and plans to speak in South Carolina and Iowa, two early voting states.

The report about Scott’s plans came two days ahead of an expected campaign launch by another South Carolina Republican, Nikki Haley, a former governor who was US ambassador to the United Nations under Donald Trump.

Still the only declared candidate for the 2024 nomination, Trump spoke in New Hampshire and South Carolina last month. He has already secured support from the other South Carolina senator, Lindsey Graham, the governor, Henry McMaster, and US House members.

The Florida governor, Ron DeSantis, is Trump’s only serious challenger in polling concerning the notional field, in which Scott generally scores 1% or less. Last week, a Washington Post-ABC News poll showed Haley performing better but splitting the anti-Trump vote, thereby handing victory to the former president in a putative three-way race.

Trump has begun to attack DeSantis but has not turned his fire on Haley, despite her preparing to renege on a vow not to run if he did.

Both Scott and Haley are often mentioned as potential vice-presidential picks, Haley representing youth and diversity (Haley is 51 and Indian American).

On Monday, John Barrasso of Wyoming, chair of the Republican Senate conference, told the Journal that Scott “truly believes that God is great and America is great and we are provided with incredible opportunities. So I think a Ronald Reagan ‘Morning in America’ hopeful America vision is one that Tim has, lives and breathes and is really needed in our country.”

On the flip side, Ed Kilgore, a Democratic operative turned columnist, suggested Scott might actually have his eye on 2028.

Scott, Kilgore wrote for New York Magazine, might really be “engaging in a sort of starter presidential campaign in order to build contacts and positive name ID for a future run … a respectable start, a signature moment or two, and a graceful exit from the 2024 contest may be the real goal”.

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