Former US President Donald Trump on January 28 will make the first public appearance of his 2024 presidential run in the early voting state of South Carolina, his campaign announced on Tuesday, according to Reuters.
Two well-known South Carolina Republicans - US Senator Lindsey Graham, one of Trump's most loyal backers, and Governor Henry McMaster - will join Trump at the State House in Columbia as he unveils his campaign's state leadership team, according to the announcement.
South Carolina holds outsize influence as one of the first states to hold presidential nominating contests during election years.
The appearance will mark Trump’s first campaign rally since he officially announced he would be running for President in November.
In 2016, when South Carolina was the third state after Iowa and New Hampshire, Trump's statewide victory helped solidify his status as the Republican front-runner.
Democrats, with Biden's backing, have recently taken steps to make South Carolina their first primary in 2024, in part because party leaders view Iowa, traditionally the lead-off state, as too white to reflect the full electorate, noted Reuters.
Trump has not hit the campaign trail since he formally began his presidential run, instead making occasional appearances before invited guests at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
While no other candidatures have formally announced their intentions to run for the Republican nomination, two other South Carolina Republicans - former Governor Nikki Haley and US Senator Tim Scott - are seen as potential rivals.
Trump’s former Vice President, Mike Pence, has also been floated as a possible candidate. Pence recently said that he will announce a decision on seeking “national office” in the new year.
The biggest challenge to Trump may come from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is incredibly popular in polls.