Tim Scott drops out of GOP primary race, ending a campaign dogged by low numbers and the question of if his girlfriend was real

Tim Scott
Sen. Tim Scott speaks at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, on October 16, 2023.AP Photo/Stephanie Scarbrough
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  • Tim Scott, a 2024 GOP contender for president, dropped out of the race.

  • His campaign failed to take off, and rumours swirled after he refused to reveal his girlfriend's identity.

  • He had aimed to become the first African-American GOP presidential candidate.

Tim Scott, a GOP senator from South Carolina, dropped out of the 2024 presidential race, ending his plans to become the first African-American to secure the Republican nomination.

"I love America more today than I did on 22 May," Scott told Fox News Channel's Sunday Night in America with Trey Gowdy, citing the date he launched his candidacy.

"But when I go back to Iowa, it will not be as a presidential candidate. I am suspending my campaign. I think the voters who are the most remarkable people on the planet have been really clear that they're telling me, 'Not now, Tim'."

NBC News reported that Scott's decision to end his campaign came as a surprise to his staffers, who only found out after watching his interview on TV.

Scott entered the race with a message of hope and optimism, and attracted big-money donors early on.

But his campaign lagged behind that of his Republican rivals, and all of the GOP's 2024 candidates have struggled to overcome Donald Trump's polling lead.

Speculation about Scott's marital status at times overshadowed his campaign. He repeatedly refused to reveal his girlfriend's identity, leading some to question whether he had a girlfriend at all.

Scott said some rivals wanted to draw attention to his marital status to "sow seeds of doubt" about his campaign, according to The Washington Post.

"It's like a different form of discrimination or bias," Scott said. "You can't say I'm Black, because that would be terrible, so find something else that you can attack."

He ended the mystery last Wednesday when she joined him onstage after the 3rd GOP debate in Miami. She is Mindy Noce, an interior designer and mother of three from Charleston, South Carolina.

The senator's road to the GOP nomination encountered hurdles from the outset.

More than half of GOP primary voters said in a Morning Consult poll that they had not heard anything about Scott's candidacy a week after his campaign rollout.

Still, the South Carolina senator did build up a considerable war chest. Scott's campaign attracted $22 million in donations before his announcement and received substantial backing from Larry Ellison, the cofounder of Oracle Corporation.

The tech billionaire poured $35 million into the senator's super PAC, Opportunity Matters Fund.

He has sought to make history as the first African-American GOP presidential candidate, and described on the campaign trail his grandfather's job as a sharecropper in the Deep South, and his own poor upbringing before becoming the GOP's only Black senator.

"I know America is a land of opportunity, not a land of oppression. I know it because I've lived it," he said in an early campaign video.

Scott told Fox News' Trey Gowdy Sunday that he had no plans of endorsing another candidate for the Republican primary.

A spokesperson for Scott's campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.

Read the original article on Business Insider