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Potential 2024 GOP presidential hopeful back to headline annual SC Republican gathering

Aug. 2, 2022 Updated Tue., Aug. 2, 2022 at 12:46 p.m.

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during the Silver Elephant Gala at the Columbia Convention Center in South Carolina last summer.    (Tracy Glantz/The State/TNS)
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during the Silver Elephant Gala at the Columbia Convention Center in South Carolina last summer.   (Tracy Glantz/The State/TNS)
By Joseph Bustos The State (Columbia, S.C.)

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a potential 2024 presidential candidate, will be the keynote speaker at an annual Upstate GOP event later this month.

Pompeo will speak Aug. 22 at the Faith & Freedom BBQ in Anderson hosted by U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-Laurens.

“I am looking forward to celebrating them surrounded by veterans, first responders and other patriotic Americans who make our country great,” Pompeo said in a statement.

Pompeo served as secretary of state under former President Donald Trump and last year spoke at the state Republican Party’s Silver Elephant Gala.

At the gala, Pompeo touted the Trump administration’s record, took jabs at President Joe Biden and called himself Trump’s most loyal Cabinet member.

“Mike Pompeo epitomizes service to country and community over self,” Duncan said in a statement. “President Trump chose Mike as secretary of state to serve as America’s chief negotiator because of his unwavering commitment to America first foreign policy and his willingness to stand up to adversaries like China.”

Coming to the barbecue in the conservative Upstate can be a testing ground for potential Republican presidential candidates in the early voting presidential primary state.

Previous speakers at Duncan’s barbecue have included former Vice President Mike Pence, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham and Rand Paul, and former Governors Scott Walker and Nikki Haley.

Tickets for the event are $35 per person or $65 per couple to cover the costs of the event and raise money for Duncan’s campaign.

Veterans and first responders, who previously attended for free, will be charged $1 for tickets. Proceeds from those ticket sales will go to charity, organizers said.

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