Washington (CNN) – Marco Rubio, the Florida Senator and possible White House contender, will court some of the Republican Party’s most conservative voters with a visit to South Carolina next month.
Rubio has been booked as the keynote speaker at Rep. Jeff Duncan’s annual Faith and Freedom Barbecue in Anderson on August 25th, a GOP source familiar with the plans told CNN.
It’s Rubio’s first trip to South Carolina, which holds a pivotal presidential primary every four years, since he addressed a South Carolina GOP banquet in 2012. Much of Rubio’s political activity this year has been geared toward helping Republicans take back the Senate in 2014. But this trip appears more directly aimed at shoring up support on his right flank ahead of a possible presidential bid next year.
Duncan represents South Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District, a hotbed of tea party and social conservative sentiment that could be considered the most conservative House district in the state.
As an added twist, Duncan was a fierce opponent of the comprehensive immigration reform package that Rubio backed in the Senate in 2013 but later backed away from.
In a statement to CNN on Wednesday, Duncan said Rubio “shares South Carolina’s values of limited government and individual liberty, and I’m looking forward to having him visit our state.”
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, another Republican eying the White House, addressed the barbecue last year, drawing roughly 1,000 people to the event.