Tim Scott to become South Carolina's first black senator


US Rep. Tim Scott (R-SC) during the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Aug. 28, 2012.


Mark Wilson

South Carolina Rep. Tim Scott, 47, has been appointed by Gov. Nikki Haley to replace Jim DeMint in the US Senate, USA Today reported. DeMint, a Republican who’s served as a senator since 2004, is leaving his post to run the conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation.

More from GlobalPost: Senator Jim DeMint to resign for Heritage Foundation job

Scott will be the first black senator in South Carolina’s history, and the first black senator from the South since the late 1800s, the New York Times reported.

In fact, only a total of six African Americans have occupied seats in the US Senate, USA Today reported – Hiram Revels (Mississippi, 1870), Blanche Bruce (Mississippi, 1875 to 1881), Edward Brooke (Massachusetts,1967 to 1979), Carol Moseley Braun (Illinois,1993 to 1999), Barack Obama (Illinois, 2005 to 2008) and Roland Burris (Illinois, 2008 to 2010), who replaced Obama after he became president.

Scott has built up a conservative voting record in his two years in Congress, the New York Times reported.

More from GlobalPost: God says "Vote NO on Boehner debt plan"

At a press conference at the statehouse in Columbia, SC, today, Scott said he was determined to cut spending, USA Today reported. “Our nation finds itself in a situation we need backbone," he said. "If you have a problem with spending there's not enough revenue to make up for it.”

Scott hailed God, his mentor, John Moniz, a Chick-fil-A franchise owner who took him under his wing when he was younger, and his mother for their guidance. "I am thankful to the good Lord and a strong mom who believes love has to come at the end of a switch," he said.

"It is very important to me as a minority female that Congressman Scott earned his seat," Gov. Haley, who is of Indian descent, said today. "He earned this seat for the person he is, for the results he's shown. He earned this seat for what I know he's going to do in making South Carolina and our country proud."

It is expected that Scott will be sworn in on Jan. 3 with the freshman class of senators, USA Today reported. He then plans to run for the rest of DeMint's term during a special election in 2014.