South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is expected to officially announce Rep. Tim Scott as the replacement for outgoing Republican Sen. Jim DeMint later today.
Haley’s office didn’t respond to a voicemail before this article’s publication. However, Republican officials did tell The New York Times that Haley has chosen Scott as DeMint’s successor in Washington.
Appointing Scott will be historic as he would be the first black senator from the South since the 19th century.
DeMint recently announced his departure to become president of the Heritage Foundation in January.
That Haley chose the 47-year-old congressman to occupy the seat isn’t really a surprise, as many suspected it. Scott has a close relationship with both Haley and DeMint, according to reports.
Haley also reportedly began telling finalists on Monday morning that she decided to run with Scott, according to the Times. That report stated also that Haley “seriously considered a number of potential contenders, particularly Jenny Sanford, the ex-wife of former Gov. Mark Sanford, who had been supportive of Haley in her race two years ago.”
Scott was elected in 2010 to represent South Carolina’s First Congressional District. His website describes him as "a tireless advocate for smaller government, lower taxes and restoring fiscal responsibility in Washington."
USA Today reported that a single mother raised Scott and his siblings and that Scott was on the verge of flunking out of high school when he got help. Before being elected to Congress, Scott spent 13 years on the Charleston County Council, including four terms as chairman. He owned Tim Scott Allstate, an insurance agency, and was a partner of Pathway Real Estate Group, according to his website.