Monday, December 17, 2012

South Carolina Governor Appoints Congressman Tim Scott to US Senate

South Carolina governor Nikki Haley has announced the appointment of congressman Tim Scott to replace outgoing senator Jim DeMint. Earlier this month, Sen. DeMint announced his plans to leave office in January to become President of conservative think-tank The Heritage Foundation.

Scott, a Republican who recently won a second term, represents the Palmetto State's 1st Congressional District- which stretches along the coast north of Charleston. During the 2010 primaries, Scott ran against the son of segregationist Senator Strom Thurmond and won, going on to win convincingly in the general election against his Democrat opponent.

Once elected to office, Scott declined to join the Congressional Black Caucus. Early on he was assigned to the House Transportation Committee and House Small Business Committee before being appointed to the House Rules Committee. Prior to that, Scott had served on the Charleston County Council and South Carolina General Assembly in addition to owning his own insurance agency.

Scott will become black senator from the state of South Carolina, the first black senator from the South since 1881 and the only black senator during the 113th Congress [Interestingly, many of the media types who normally savor the ethnic head-counts were remarkably quiet after Gov. Haley's announcement on Monday- NANESB!].

According to South Carolina state law, Gov. Haley is also required to set a date for a special election for Scott's vacant Congressional seat. It's also worth pointing out that the boundaries for South Carolina's first congressional district had shifted significantly after the 2010 Census. While the district still encompasses much of the coast, the First District will be mostly between Charleston and Hilton Head Island, SC and much of Scott's former district is now part of the newly-formed 7th Congressional district which will be represented by Horry County Republican Tom Rice.

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