Tim Scott will be the next U.S. Senator from South Carolina. The first-term Republican congressman from Charleston, who was just elected to a second term, was appointed to the seat being vacated by fellow Republican Jim DeMint. South Carolina governor Nikki Haley made the announcement in Columbia Monday afternoon, flanked by Scott, DeMint, and other members of South Carolina's congressional delegation, including Senator Lindsey Graham.
"It is with great pleasure that I am announcing our next U.S. senator to be Congressman Tim Scott," Haley said. "He understands the strength that we need to have in our business community as we continue to focus on jobs. He has shown that with his support of the ports and knowing that the deepening needs to be there. He's shown courage when he helped us with the fight against National Labor Relations Board and the unions that tried to take boeing down. He has shown it with his fiscal representation and the fact that he knows the value of a dollar. He understands what every family and small business goes through, and he has stayed consistent to that."
Before winning his House seat in 2010, Scott served a single term in the state house of representatives (alongside Haley) and was on the Charleston city council for 13 years.
Scott thanked his "lord and savior Jesus Christ" and his mother in a short address following the announcement. Scott is the first black senator from South Carolina and the first black Republican in the Senate since Edward Brooke of Massachusetts left in 1979. He will also be the only black senator to serve in the next Congress.
Scott will face an election in 2014 to win the seat outright.
Fred Barnes profiled Scott shortly before his election to the House in 2010. Here's an excerpt:
As he tells it, Scott became a Republican in three stages. First, there was the military influence. His father spent 27 years in the Air Force and his two brothers are in the military. “Having a strong military always made sense to me,” he told me. And Republicans support a strong military, he says.
Second, there was his becoming a Christian in college. That turned him into a social conservative and strong foe of legalized abortion. This, too, turned him toward Republicans, he says.
And third, he went into the insurance business after graduating from Charleston Southern. He became a tax payer. “If you pay enough taxes, you’ll be a Republican,” according to Scott.
Read the whole thing here.