By MEG KINNARD
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Former President Donald Trump will be joined by two of his highest-profile South Carolina supporters — U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham and Gov. Henry McMaster — at the first public campaign event of his 2024 White House bid later this month in the early voting state.
Trump will be at the Statehouse in Columbia on Jan. 28 and will unveil his South Carolina leadership team, according to a person familiar with the plans. That person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the person wasn’t authorized to speak publicly.
Trump’s campaign had previously confirmed the South Carolina event but hadn’t provided details.
The event will also include members of South Carolina’s congressional delegation, as well as state lawmakers, according to the person.
U.S. Rep. Russell Fry, who with Trump’s support ousted U.S. Rep. Tom Rice in a primary last year, told the AP on Tuesday that he would be at the rollout.
Some operatives and elected officials in South Carolina have been receiving calls from Graham asking for their support for Trump’s reelection bid. At least two of the people asked had turned down the request, according to the person, who spoke with the pair.
Since announcing his latest presidential run in November, Trump has limited his public campaign appearances to events at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida before an invited crowd or in a virtual setting.
Trump’s visit to South Carolina comes as two of the state’s top Republicans mull 2024 bids of their own.
Nikki Haley, a former governor and onetime U.N. ambassador, said she would take the holiday season to consider a White House campaign.
U.S. Sen. Tim Scott has been making visits in other early voting states and launched a political action committee that could become a presidential campaign vehicle. A Scott spokesperson did not immediately comment Tuesday when asked if the senator would attend Trump’s event.
Meg Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP
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