Rep. Tim Scott has been tapped to take the U.S. Senate seat in South Carolina left vacant by retiring Jim DeMint, making him the first African American senator from the South since the late 19th century, the New York Times reports.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley announced her pick at a noon press conference at the statehouse in Columbia. Scott, a Republican from Charelston, was first elected to the House in 2010.
Haley had been considering a number of potential contenders for the role, including Jenny Sanford, the ex-wife of former Gov. Mark Sanford. But she chose Scott because of his conservative voting record in Congress. His views closely align with those of DeMint, the Times said. He will be the only African American currently in the Senate.
Demint, a Tea Party favorite, left the Senate only two years into his second term to become president of the conservative Heritage Foundation.