House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy will headline the South Carolina Republican Party’s annual fundraiser dinner this month.
McCarthy’s July 29 speech at the party’s Silver Elephant Gala will come a little more than three months before the midterm elections when Republicans are hoping to retake control of the House, potentially making him the next speaker.
The Silver Elephant dinner, now in its 55th year, serves as a fundraiser for the state party, and historically features keynote speakers, like McCarthy, who can raise money for the party. It also gives up-and-coming Republicans a chance to test the political waters in an early presidential primary state.
Starting in 1967 with then-California Gov. Ronald Reagan, the party’s dinner has hosted many high-profile Republicans, such as former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former Trump administration official Mick Mulvaney, former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and, last year, former Secretary of State and CIA Director Mike Pompeo.
“Leader Kevin McCarthy is an aggressive advocate for our party and our conservative candidates,” said South Carolina GOP Chairman Drew McKissick. “We can’t wait to welcome him to the Palmetto State, rally behind our shared principles and get ready to beat Democrats and retire Nancy Pelosi this November.”
McCarthy is already acquainted with South Carolina politics.
He endorsed U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace, R-Daniel Island, in 2020, and donated to Mace through his political action committees this election cycle as she faced a primary challenge from Katie Arrington in the 1st Congressional District. Mace won the June primary by nearly 8 percentage points.
Back in Washington, the California congressman is looking to retake the House but has faced criticism from House Republican colleagues, particularly after a recording of him surfaced saying former President Donald Trump should resign in the wake of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
Despite Trump’s public indifference to the recording, some Republicans have grown frustrated with McCarthy, who they argue has not been willing to separate himself from the former president despite his response to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Others have been frustrated with McCarthy because he hasn’t expelled from the caucus anti-Trump Republicans, such as Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney, who sit on the special House committee investigating the Capitol riot.
McCarthy has criticized the Jan. 6 congressional Committee investigating the Capitol riot when a mob of Trump supporters on Jan. 6, 2021, tried to stop Congress from certifying the 2020 election for President Joe Biden. McCarthy also opted not to place any Republicans on the panel.
This story will be updated.