Pompeo headlines South Carolina fundraiser with early votes

COLUMBIA, SC (AP) — Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will headline a major rally of Republicans in South Carolina this month as he considers a 2024 White House bid that could pit him against his former boss , former President Donald Trump.

Pompeo will speak at the Faith & Freedom BBQ in Anderson on Aug. 22, according to event host, U.S. Representative Jeff Duncan.

“The tenants of Faith and Freedom are ingrained in the fabric of our nation, and I look forward to celebrating them surrounded by veterans, first responders and other patriotic Americans who make our country great!” Pompeo said in a written statement to The Associated Press on Tuesday.

The fundraiser, which benefits Duncan’s campaign, has long been a showcase for potential White House contenders, including: South Dakota Governor Kristi Noemthen- Vice President Mike Pence, Sens. TedCruz, Joni Ernst and Marco Rubio, and former UN Ambassador and Governor of South Carolina, Nikki Haley.

According to Duncan, who represents South Carolina’s 3rd congressional district, the event is the largest annual gathering of Republicans in the state, typically drawing more than 1,000 attendees.

“Mike Pompeo embodies service to country and community above himself,” Duncan said, describing Pompeo’s “unwavering commitment to America’s foreign policy and willingness to stand up to adversaries like China.”

Last year, Pompeo led a fundraiser for the state Republican Party in South Carolina, home to the South’s first presidential votes. His super PAC, which has raised nearly $6 million, released a digital ad last month in South Carolina and Iowa — another early-vote state where he’s popping up — touting religious freedoms.

Pompeo and Pence are among Trump’s former administration officials seeking to settle in the state as Trump continues to tease a 2024 bid. Pompeo, who served as CIA director and top diplomat, has remained on good terms with his former boss and continued to defend him after the siege of the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 by Trump supporters.

Pence has made several recent visits to the state, including last year when he first public address since leaving the office. Already this year he gave his opening remarks at Christian Columbia International University, speaking on a Crisis Pregnancy Center Fundraiser and outlined his policy vision for a ‘post-Roe’ world.

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Meg Kinnard can be reached at: http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP.

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