Republican Sen. John Thune (S.D.) revealed his plans to fully support fellow Republican Sen. Tim Scott’s (S.C.) bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, according to reporting by The Hill that cites a source familiar with the matter.
Thune will attend the South Carolina senator’s official campaign launch on Monday (May 22) as he tries to move the party away from former President Donald Trump.
As the Senate’s number 2 Republican lawmaker, Thune will become the highest-ranking GOP lawmaker to support Scott.
Politico first reported Thune’s endorsement, which followed Scott officially announcing his candidacy on Friday (May 19) by filing documents with the Federal Election Commission.
Thune is known to support Scott’s presidential bid and encouraged Scott to jump into the 2024 race earlier this year.
In April, Thune told The Hill, “I think [Scott would] be a great candidate.”
At the time, Thune expressed his excitement about a possible Scott 2024 White House Bid, revealing he had been “encouraging” the South Carolina Republican to enter the race.
Thune also told The Hill that Scott’s peers think of him highly, adding that Scott would make an “interesting” presidential candidate.
Fellow South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds (R) said Wednesday (May 17) he would support Scott’s presidential bid, becoming the first Republican senator to endorse a candidate other than former President Trump.
But Scott is facing an uphill battle as he already has a number of Republican challengers, including Trump, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy.
He also faces a potential challenge from DeSantis, who is expected to announce his bid on May 25.