Representative Tim Scott will be appointed as South Carolina’s first black senator. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley chose Scott to replace U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, who plans to resign and become president of the Heritage Foundation. Congressman Scott, a tea party member, will be the first black Republican to ascend to the senate in more than 30 years, and the first African-American senator from a southern state since the post-Civil War-era.
“Tim Scott is a principled leader and will make an outstanding senator for the people of the South Carolina and an important voice for conservatives across the nation,” DeMint said in a statement released Monday. “I’ve known Tim for years and am confident he will serve our state with honor and distinction.”
Haley’s appointment will also make Scott the nation’s only black senator. Though he may not be the typical face of GOP politics, Scott is a staunch believer in conservative ideology. When asked his to speak on the nation’s deficit and the upcoming fiscal cliff, Scott offered classic Republican rhetoric.
“If you have a problem with spending, there is not enough revenue to make up for it,” Scott said after being introduced by Haley. “We have a spending problem in America not a revenue problem.”
Scott was raised by a single mother in Charleston, South Carolina in a poor household and almost failed out of high school before being trained in those same conservative principles by the owner of a Chik-Fil-A franchise. Now at the age of 47, Scott will take South Carolina’s senate seat, just two years after winning his position in the House of Representatives.
“As a solid conservative who fights hard for the values and principles he believes in, Tim will help us find real, lasting solutions to the economic challenges facing our nation in the 113th Congress,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a statement.
“This is truly an historic moment for the Palmetto State from a governor who’s broken more than a few barriers in her own career,” he said of Haley’s decision to appoint Scott.
With Scott moving on to Washington’s more exclusive chamber, candidates will line up to fill the house seat that he leaves behind. Scott will hold his senate office until special election in November 2014, at which point he may run for re-election.