Vice President Mike Pence is making a trip to South Carolina to help kickoff U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham’s bid for a fourth term.

Graham’s campaign said Pence will be with Graham at events in Myrtle Beach and Greenville on March 30.

In a release, Graham praised Pence as “a strong ally and close friend.” The 63-year-old senator has often fielded challenges from the right in his previous re-election campaigns, subject to criticism that he’s been too willing to work with Democrats to accurately represent conservative South Carolinians.

“I am honored to have Vice President Pence travel to South Carolina to support my campaign,” Graham said in a statement issued by his campaign.

Vice President Mike Pence speaks at Legislative Summit, co-hosted by The Latino Coalition and Job Creators Network, in Washington, Wednesday, March 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

“The vice president has been a strong ally and close friend in the efforts to confirm conservative judges like Brett Kavanaugh, strengthen our southern border, cut taxes, and rebuild our military,” Graham said. “I know South Carolinians are excited and look forward to welcoming him back to the Palmetto State.”

Graham, who currently serves as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is known for his hawkish foreign-policy positions. While he has shown a past willingness to work with Democrats on issues such as immigration reform, Graham received national attention last year for angrily criticizing Democrats about their treatment of Kavanaugh during his Supreme Court confirmation process. 

A 63-year-old Republican from Seneca who has never married, Graham was elected to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond in 2002. In his most recent election, he easily defeated six challengers in the 2014 GOP primary before winning the general election by a comfortable 17-point margin over Democratic state Sen. Brad Hutto, according to Green Ville News.

For the 2020 campaign, associate Democratic National Committee Chairman Jaime Harrison is considering seeking his party’s nomination to unseat Graham.

Pence was in South Carolina last year to campaign with Gov. Henry McMaster, a longtime ally of President Donald Trump.

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