DeSantis to become 1st GOP candidate to file for South Carolina primary during visit next week

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis plans to file his 2024 candidacy for South Carolina’s Republican presidential primary when he’s in the first-in-the-South voting state next week, becoming the first GOP hopeful to do so.

DeSantis will file his paperwork at the state GOP headquarters in Columbia on Tuesday, his campaign told The Associated Press on Friday.

DeSantis will make his candidacy official during his third campaign swing through South Carolina, where Republican hopefuls have been stumping for more than a year already. On Monday, he makes a stop in Tega Cay, an affluent community on Lake Wylie along the state line with North Carolina.

After he signs his candidacy paperwork, DeSantis plans to make a policy rollout in Columbia, the details of which the campaign did not immediately release. It will be DeSantis’ second policy announcement, following his immigration proposals — which call for ending birthright citizenship and finishing construction of the southern border wall — outlined during a June visit to a Texas border city.

The South Carolina trip comes on the heels of a Friday GOP gathering in Iowa, where DeSantis and other hopefuls — but not former President Donald Trump, the field’s current frontrunner — were set to appear at the Family Leadership Summit.

It’s one of many events that will be held in Iowa in the coming weeks as voters begin to more seriously consider their options in the remaining six months until the leadoff caucuses, and the sprawling field of Republican presidential candidates works to build bases of support to challenge Trump’s early lead in the field.

South Carolina is set to hold its GOP presidential primary Feb. 24. The state, which also boasts two homegrown 2024 candidates of its own — former Gov. Nikki Haley and Sen. Tim Scott — is critical for Republican presidential hopefuls and has been a strong base of support for Trump in his previous campaigns.

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