Governor Nikki Haley of South Carolina announced she will tap Congressman Tim Scott for South Carolina’s vacant Senate seat. Rep. Scott’s appointment will make him the first black senator from the South since the 19th Century.
The Senate seat became vacant after Sen. Jim DeMint announced he was stepping down to take on a leadership role at the Heritage Foundation in January, causing many to wonder who Gov. Haley would pick to fill the vacancy.
After a lot of debate, Gov. Haley ended the speculation today when she announced that she was appointing Rep. Scott.
“It is with great pleasure that I am announcing our next U.S. senator to be Congressman Tim Scott,” Gov. Haley said. “I am strongly convinced that the entire state understands that this is the right U.S. senator for our state and our country.”
Rep. Scott, who was raised in a single-parent household, credited his mother’s guidance for positively affecting his life.
“I am thankful for a strong mom that understood that love sometimes comes at the end of a switch,” Scott said.
Rep. Scott will have to defend his Senate seat in 2014 as apart of a special election, and if he wins, he’ll have to defend it again in 2016.
South Carolina’s senior Senator, Lindsay Graham, said Rep. Scott’s appointment—as well as having a black senator represent his state—was long overdue.
“This is a day that’s been long in the making in South Carolina,” Graham said. “And I’m glad to see it come.”
Rep. Scott, a staunch conservative, was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2010. And according to the Washington Post, he will become “the seventh African-American to serve in the Senate and the first black senator from the South since the 1880s.”