COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley announced Monday that Rep. Tim Scott will be appointed to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Republican Jim DeMint, who is leaving in January to lead the Heritage Foundation.
The 47-year-old congressman will become the seventh African-American to be a member of the Senate. Scott served one term as a congressman, one term in the South Carolina House and 13 years on the Charleston County Council.
Right out of the gate, Scott showed why he is a Tea Party favorite.
“If you have a problem with spending, there's not enough revenue to make up for it. We have a spending problem, ladies and gentlemen of America, not a revenue problem,” Scott said.
Catawba College political science professor Dr. Michael Bitzer says Scott may represent the new face of the Republican Party.
“This cold be the first opening salvo of the Republicans, basically expanding themselves beyond what they were in this year's election. They can't be the party of old, white men anymore,” he said.
Haley defended this decision against any racial implications, saying Scott was the best person for the job.
“He earned this seat. He earned this seat because of the person he is. He earned this seat because of the results he has shown,” she said.
Scott will become the first black Republican senator from the South since Blanche Bruche, of Mississippi, in 1881. Scott's departure means there will no be no black Republicans in the House of Representatives.
Scott will hold the seat until a special election can be held in 2014 to elect the person for the final two years of this office. Meanwhile, a primary election will be held in a couple of months to find a replacement for Scott's congressional seat.