Popular Republican and Trump running mate contender makes first Senate endorsement in 2024 races

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Popular Republican and Trump running mate contender makes first Senate endorsement in 2024 races

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EXCLUSIVE – Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, who’s under consideration as former President Donald Trump’s running mate, is weighing in on the GOP Senate primary in a key battleground state.

Scott on Wednesday endorsed former Rep. Mike Rogers of Michigan, a former House Intelligence Committee chair who is the front-runner in the August Republican primary in the fight to succeed longtime Sen. Debbie Stabenow, a Democrat who is not seeking re-election this year.

The seat is one of a handful that Republicans are aiming to flip from blue to red in the autumn elections as they push to regain the Senate majority they lost in the 2020 cycle.

“Mike Rogers’ commitment to service has always been about putting the American people first. When Mike and I served together, he was a leader who delivered results and fought to expand opportunities for working families and those pursuing their American Dream,” Scott said in a statement. “I’m proud to endorse him to be Michigan’s next U.S. Senator because I know Mike will bring his servant leadership to the U.S. Senate.”

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Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump looks to Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., during a Fox News Channel town hall Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024, in Greenville, S.C. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson) (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Scott’s backing of Rogers, which was shared first with Fox News, is his first formal endorsement in a Senate race this election cycle, although he’s helped other Republican candidates raise money.

Rogers, an Army veteran and a former FBI special agent before serving in Congress, enjoys the backing of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), which is the campaign arm of the Senate GOP. And in March, Rogers landed the endorsement of Trump, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee.

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“Senator Scott has been a tremendous champion for conservative values in the U.S. Senate and I’m honored to receive his endorsement,” Rogers said in a statement. “Together in the Senate we will work with President Trump to help Michigan families, lower the cost of gas and groceries, and secure the southern border.”

Rogers has also been endorsed in recent months by seven other Republican senators, as well as Mike Pompeo, who served as Secretary of State and CIA director in the Trump administration. He’s also been endorsed by former Detroit police chief James Craig, who backed Rogers after ending his own Republican Senate nomination bid earlier this year.

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump listens as Michigan Senate candidate former Rep. Mike Rogers speaks at a campaign rally in Freeland, Mich., Wednesday, May 1, 2024. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump listens as Michigan Senate candidate former Rep. Mike Rogers speaks at a campaign rally in Freeland, Mich., Wednesday, May 1, 2024. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

As they work to win a Senate election in Michigan for the first time in three decades, Republicans were hoping to avoid a potentially costly and combustible primary.

But Rogers doesn’t have the field to himself.

The primary race also includes wealthy businessman and investor Sandy Pensler, who’s making his second run for office and has been spending big bucks to run ads targeting Rogers. Former Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy endorsed Pensler.

Among the others running for the GOP nomination are former Rep. Justin Amash, who as an independent House member joined Democrats in voting to impeach then-President Trump in his first impeachment trial in 2019.

The state primary in Michigan will be held on August 6.

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Scott, the only Black Republican in the Senate, ran unsuccessfully for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination but remains a very popular and influential figure in the party.

The senator, who was known for his ferocious fundraising as he cruised to a Senate re-election in 2022, has strong ties with many leading figures in the GOP donor class. The money raised two years ago served as a down payment for his 2024 national run.

Besides raising money for himself, Scott has also been very active in helping fellow Republicans running for office.

In the 2022 cycle, the senator raised nearly $1 million for other candidates and donated more than $1 million to down ballot races. And two outside groups aligned with Scott spent $13 million on top Senate and House races, while also transferring $5 million to the top super PAC supporting Senate Republicans.

A super PAC allied with Scott announced earlier this month it would spend $14 million to help Republicans grow support among Black voters.

Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more at our Fox News Digital election hub.

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