Rep. Tim Scott reportedly has been selected by South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley to replace outgoing Sen. Jim DeMint.
Scott will become the first black senator from the Palmetto State since the late 19th century, The New York Times reports.
Scott was on a short list for candidates which included Rep. Trey Gowdy, former state Attorney General Henry McMaster, state Health and Environmental Control Department Director Catherine Templeton and former South Carolina First Lady Jenny Sanford.
The official announcement will be made at 12 noon.
DeMint had been pushing for Scott — a conservative — to replace him after he quits politics next month to take over the Heritage Foundation.
“As a poor kid growing up in a single-parent household in North Charleston, S.C., I felt like I didn’t have much going for me,” Scott, 47, said in a speech at the Republican convention this summer.
“I did have a mom who believed in tough love . . . and a small-business owner, who was my mentor, who taught me I could think my way out of poverty.”
Scott, who owns an insurance company, previously served one term in the South Carolina General Assembly and 13 years on the Charleston County Council. He is a graduate of Charleston Southern University.
In 2008, he ran for the seat of retiring incumbent Republican State Representative Tom Dantzler.
Scott has been steadfastly critical of Obamacare.
“While health care reform is needed in order to reduce costs, increase coverage, and improve quality of care, a government takeover of the health care system is the wrong prescription at the wrong time,’’ he said.
“We cannot allow the federal government to control one-sixth of the U.S. economy. Even more importantly, we cannot allow government bureaucrats to make health care decisions that should be made by doctors and patients.’’’
Early in his career, Scott pitched a battle for religious freedom when, in 1997, he supported having the Ten Commandments posted outside the Charleston County Council chambers. The posting of the commandments was later ruled as unconstitutional.
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