On the November 10 deadline for qualifying to run for president in Alabama's March 5 Republican primary, one of the nine who qualified was U.S. Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C). Two days later, he announced he was "suspending" his campaign.

Officials at the Alabama Republican Party said Wednesday that Scott's name is still on the Alabama primary ballot "for now." They said his decision to suspend the campaign was unlike withdrawing. He could theoretically un-suspend the campaign, although that seems unrealistic because of the loss of momentum caused by a suspension.

Alabama GOP chair John Wahl said Wednesday that if Scott asks for his name to be removed, that request would be honored.

Scott also has lost the $20,000 he paid the Alabama GOP as the qualifying fee. Had he made his decision two days earlier and never qualified, he could have saved the $20,000. It is a standing practice of the Alabama GOP not to refund qualifying fees when a qualified candidate later quits.

Scott's loss of the fee will be the same even if he later requests his name be removed from the Alabama primary ballot.

Scott announced his suspension on this week's broadcast of "Fox News Sunday." He said he was not saying "no" but "not now." The announcement appeared to come as a surprise to Scott's campaign staff and supporters.

There will be nine candidates for president on Alabama's March 5 Republican primary ballot:

Ryan L. Binkley
Doug Burgum
Chris Christie
Ron DeSantis
Nikki Haley
Vivek Ramaswamy
Tim Scott
David Stuckenberg
Donald J. Trump

Scott, 58, is considered young by presidential candidate standards. He was born in 1965, after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, which is considered a generational demarcation line.

He served on the Charleston City Council, the South Carolina Statehouse and the U.S. Congress from South Carolina's first district. In 2014, he was elected to complete the term of U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, who had resigned. In 2016, he won a full term. In 2022, he was re-elected but term-limited himself, saying it would be his last term in the Senate.

Scott is the ranking member of two major Senate committees, the Banking Committee and the Committee on Aging.

Scott's professional career has been in insurance, and he became an Allstate agency operator. His business success enabled him to buy a home for his aging mother.

Scott joins a growing list of Republican candidates pulling out of the 2024 presidential race, including former Vice President Mike Pence and California radio talk host Larry Elder.

Jim Zeigler is a former Alabama Public Service Commissioner and State Auditor. You can reach him for comments at [email protected]

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