Pence to visit South Carolina as GOP presidential contenders plan trips to key primary states

Mike Pence
Vice President Mike Pence waves after speaking at a reception for the Organization of American States in the Indian Treaty Room at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington, Monday, June 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Pence to visit South Carolina as GOP presidential contenders plan trips to key primary states

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Former Vice President Mike Pence is set to visit Charleston, South Carolina, next week to meet with local law enforcement officials, marking the latest trip by possible GOP presidential contenders to key primary states.

Pence is scheduled to arrive in South Carolina on Monday and meet with a roundtable of law enforcement officials before making a second stop at a “meet and greet” with business leaders in Myrtle Beach, according to his political action committee. The visit is Pence’s ninth trip to the Palmetto State since leaving office in 2021 and comes as he mulls a return to the White House — this time as its primary occupant.

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During his meeting with law enforcement officials, Pence is expected to discuss police reform legislation being proposed on Capitol Hill in the wake of the death of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols, who was killed by Memphis police last month. Pence will “push back on the restored ‘Defund the Police’ movement that’s sweeping across the country,” one of his aides told CBS News.

Pence’s visit comes just days before former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley is set to visit South Carolina on Feb. 15, when she is expected to announce her presidential bid. After that, Haley will travel to New Hampshire and Iowa, two other crucial primary states.

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Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), another possible GOP presidential contender, is also expected to hold an event in South Carolina in mid-February as part of his “Faith in America” national listening tour. After that, the South Carolina senator is expected to travel to Iowa for the next stop on the tour.

The booked calendar of events signals ramped-up efforts by high-profile Republicans who are reportedly considering a White House bid in 2024. Former President Donald Trump is the only major Republican to announce his candidacy so far, but several others are expected to follow suit in the coming months — setting the stage for what is expected to be a crowded primary.

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