NORTH CHARLESTON — U.S. Sen. Tim Scott kicked off his 2022 reelection campaign June 28, launching what the South Carolina Republican has said is his final bid for the office he has held for the past eight years.
In remarks to several hundred supporters in his hometown of North Charleston, Scott cheered the administration of former President Donald Trump and said he is hopeful Republicans can build on “the good old days” of Trump’s conservative policies if they reclaim the Senate majority in 2022.
“Sometimes you’ve got to go back to the future, and that’s a future I want to go back to,” Scott said.
During a later rally in Columbia, Republican Gov. Henry McMaster called Scott “compassionate, conservative and a man of great courage” and said nobody could beat Scott in either a GOP primary or general election.
Scott said he decided to run for reelection because he believes “the next few years will determine the fate of our nation for the next 50 years.”
“If we do what we’re supposed to do, we will have another American century that we can celebrate, even flourish in, and freedom in a way that we haven’t seen in a long time,” Scott said.
In a solidly Republican state where Scott’s senior colleague, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, won reelection by 10 percentage points in 2020 despite his Democratic opponent breaking fundraising records, Scott enters the 2022 race as the heavy favorite.
Two Democrats have announced their intention to challenge him: state Rep. Krystle Matthews of Ladson and Spartanburg County Democratic Party Chairwoman Angela Geter. No Republicans have indicated plans to run against Scott in the GOP primary.
Scott, 55, has long said the 2022 race would be his last run for the U.S. Senate, a commitment he reiterated June 28.
He was first appointed to the office by then-Gov. Nikki Haley after Jim DeMint retired in 2012 and then won the seat in a 2014 special election. He cruised to reelection in 2016. But he said early in his tenure he favors term limits and would impose one on himself.
A launch video for Scott’s campaign featured an array of top GOP politicians offering support, including former Vice President Mike Pence, Graham and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Haley, much of the South Carolina congressional delegation and Statehouse leaders.