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Tim Scott hosts fundraiser as White House bid continues


Cites ‘evolution of the nation’

South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott conducted a fundraiser recently in Laguna Niguel as part on his first trip to Southern California since declaring his candidacy for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

The dinner and reception was held at the home of Dr. Nikan Khatibi and his wife, Parmis, according to an invitation obtained by City News Service. Nikan Khatibi is an anesthesiologist, pain management and addiction medicine specialist and member of the National Cancer Advisory Board, appointed in 2020 by then-President Donald Trump.

Khatibi is also CEO and medical director of the Laguna Niguel-based Ahura Healthcare Corp., which he describes on his website as providing “mental health, pain management and addiction medicine care to the most vulnerable community members in Southern California.''

The 57-year-old Scott announced his candidacy May 22 at Charleston Southern University, where he received a bachelor's degree in political science in 1988, declaring, “I am living proof that America is the land of opportunity, not a land of oppression.''

“I think back to my grandfather,'' said Scott, who would be the first Black Republican president. “A man born in 1921 in Salley, SC, in the Deep South. By the time he was in the third grade, his education was over. He was forced out of school and had to start picking cotton.

“But he lived long enough to watch his grandson pick out a seat in Congress. That's the evolution of the country we live in. My family went from cotton to Congress in his lifetime. And it was possible because my grandfather had stubborn faith. He had faith in God, faith in himself and faith in what America would be.''

According to a biography on his campaign's website, Scott was raised in North Charleston, South Carolina “in a poor, single-parent household'' headed by his mother. After graduating from college, Scott was a financial adviser and owned an Allstate insurance agency.

Scott first ran for office in 1995, winning a special election for an at-large seat on the Charleston County Council. He lost a bid for the South Carolina Senate in 1996 and was reelected to the Charleston County Council in 2000 and 2004.

Scott was elected to South Carolina House of Representatives in 2008 and the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010. He was appointed by then-South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley to the U.S. Senate in 2013, replacing Jim DeMint, who resigned to become president of the conservative think tank, The Heritage Foundation.

Scott won a special election in 2014 to remain in the Senate and was elected to a full six-year term in 2016 and reelected in 2022.

Scott has called creating Opportunity Zones as part of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as his signature piece of legislation. The provision of the law allows for certain investments in lower income areas to have tax advantages to put capital to work that would otherwise be locked up due to the asset holder's unwillingness to trigger a capital gains tax.