DeSantis will headline barbecue billed as the largest annual gathering of South Carolina Republicans

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is set to be the main attraction at South Carolina’s largest annual gathering of Republicans next month. This event offers DeSantis a valuable opportunity to present his case in front of a large number of party activists, many of whom still hold a favorable view of former President Donald Trump, the frontrunner in the GOP primary race.

DeSantis will be speaking at the Faith & Freedom BBQ in Anderson on August 28, according to event host Rep. Jeff Duncan. Duncan, who represents South Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District, expressed his admiration for DeSantis’ work in Florida, including his efforts to protect children, challenge woke corporations, combat illegal immigration, and push back against the Biden administration.

The BBQ, which typically attracts over 1,000 attendees, is a casual gathering featuring picnic tables, sweet tea, and barbecue. It serves as a fundraising event for Duncan’s reelection campaign and has previously been attended by potential presidential contenders such as Mike Pompeo, Kristi Noem, Mike Pence, Ted Cruz, Joni Ernst, Marco Rubio, and Nikki Haley, who is now part of the 2024 field.

Last year, Senator Tim Scott addressed the crowd at this event as speculation grew about his own potential presidential bid in 2024. This year’s gathering comes shortly after the first 2024 Republican primary debate in Milwaukee. DeSantis, Trump, Haley, Scott, and several other GOP candidates claim to have qualified for the debate stage, although Trump has suggested that he may not attend. Pence still needs to meet the requirement of having at least 40,000 unique donors.

The Faith & Freedom BBQ follows in the footsteps of Trump’s keynote speech at the South Carolina Republican Party’s Silver Elephant fundraiser earlier in August and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy’s appearance at the Dorchester County GOP’s Faith, Family & Freedom Dinner.

Unlike many of his Republican colleagues in South Carolina’s delegation, Rep. Jeff Duncan has not yet aligned himself with a specific presidential candidate. Representatives Joe Wilson, Russell Fry, and William Timmons, as well as Senator Lindsey Graham, have pledged their support to Trump. Haley, on the other hand, has received an endorsement from Representative Ralph Norman, while Representative Nancy Mace has yet to make an endorsement for the primary.

This event serves as a critical platform for DeSantis to make his mark on a state that has historically played a significant role in determining the GOP presidential nominee. With the backing of party activists at the Faith & Freedom BBQ, DeSantis hopes to solidify his position as a prominent contender in the 2024 race.

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