Tim Scott Becomes South Carolina's First Black Senator

LosAngeles Times: Rep. Tim Scott, a freshman tea party Republican, will become South Carolina's first black senator, Gov. Nikki Haley, announced Monday, appointing the congressman to fill the seat left vacant by Jim DeMint.

"It is a great day for South Carolina," Haley said, speaking at the statehouse in Columbia. "It is a historic day for South Carolina."

Haley was joined by Scott and DeMint, as well as the state's senior senator, Lindsey Graham, and members of its congressional delegation. Scott, accepting the appointment, heaped praise on his predecessor. "Sen. Jim DeMint has led in a way that few others have led," Scott said. "There's no way to fill his shoes."

DeMint, the conservative firebrand and godfather of the tea party, stunned the political world earlier this month when he announced he would be retiring from his seat midterm to become president of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington. DeMint will officially depart from the Senate on Jan. 1. In the wake of DeMint's resignation, Scott quickly emerged as a favorite among conservatives to fill the seat. At the news conference, DeMint signaled his approval of the governor's pick. "Governor, thank you for your faithfulness to our cause and your good judgment," DeMint said. "Tim, I could not be happier today."

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