By Jennifer Burke
According to reports, Rep. Tim Scott (R-SC), a candidate who rode the 2010 Tea Party wave and has become a favorite, conservative ally in the House, will be appointed to fill the Senate seat which will be vacated by Senator Jim DeMint.
DeMint recently announced that he will be resigning from his Senate seat in January in order to become President of the Heritage Foundation. When that news was released two weeks ago, Senator DeMint sources indicated that he wanted Scott to be his successor.
When Tim Scott won his first election for the state House in 2008, he became South Carolina’s first black congressman in more than 100 years. He made history again in 2010 after being elected to his current seat in South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District. In winning that race, he defeated South Carolina political legend Strom Thurmond’s son Paul and became the first black Congressman from that state in 114 years.
With an appointment to the Senate seat, Scott will make history once again becoming the only black Senator from either party in the Senate and the first black Senator from the GOP since 1979. The appointment to the seat will run through 2014 when a special election will be held to determine who will hold the office for the last two years of DeMint’s term.
There was previously speculation that Gov. Nikki Haley would appoint former South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster to the seat. Many conservatives questioned whether McMaster would stand strong against Democrats in a Senate controlled by Harry Reid and were interested in Scott as a successor because of his staunch conservatism.
Rep. Scott’s leadership was recognized early when he became one of two freshman representatives selected to be part of the House Republican Leadership Table. His appointment to the seat would ensure that a strong voice for conservatism remains in the Senate as a voice from South Carolina. The announcement is slated to be made at a press conference this afternoon.