Republican U.S. Sen. Tim Scott on Monday said he is leaning against a bid for South Carolina governor in 2018.
“The more I pray, the more I am comfortable that where I am is where I want to be right now,” Scott said during a midday visit to Gaffney. “You’ve got to have fire to run (for governor). We are finding fire and that is staying (in the Senate).”
As for when he might consider a run for governor, Scott quipped, “Maybe in the year 2090.”
But Monday evening, Scott spokeswoman Michele Exner said that the senator had not reached a final decision about a gubernatorial bid.
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In November, the Post and Courier in Charleston first reported that Scott was mulling a bid for governor in 2018 with his friend and colleague U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy as a running mate. He also said Gowdy would make a good federal judge. Scott said he would be praying for an answer.
A Gowdy spokeswoman has since said the Spartanburg Republican was focused on his role as congressman.
Scott and Gowdy were named to President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team last week.
Scott, who was in Gaffney as part of a 46-county tour of South Carolina, said he supports Trump’s nomination of Dr. Ben Carson as the next secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. He said the retired neurosurgeon and former Trump opponent is qualified.
“I think he will be an excellent secretary of HUD,” Scott said. “We need surgery. People living in poverty deserve better than current conditions.”
Scott said he supports Trump’s plans to overturn an “onerous” regulation that raises the salary cap for all workers who must receive overtime pay.
A federal judge has put a hold on the rule, put forth by the Obama Administration to raise the salary cap from $23,660 a year to $47,476. Under the rule, companies would have had to either raise salaried employees’ earnings or reduce their hours to avoid paying them overtime.
Scott said the rule would lead to reduced hours and limit growth opportunities for employees.