Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is praising the appointment of Congressman Tim Scott, R-S.C., to the succeeded retiring Sen. Jim DeMint.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley announced her decision Monday, making Scott the first African-American senator from the South since Reconstruction.
The 47-year-old congressman was the favorite among conservatives to take DeMint’s seat, and McConnell noted the history in Haley’s decision.
From McConnell’s office:
“I want to congratulate Congressman Scott on his appointment to the United States Senate. As a solid conservative who fights hard for the values and principles he believes in, Tim will help us find real, lasting solutions to the economic challenges facing our nation in the 113th Congress. This is truly an historic moment for the Palmetto State from a Governor who’s broken more than a few barriers in her own career.”
Scott will be the only African-American serving in the U.S. Senate.
He will run in a special election in 2014, but as observers have pointed out the country has elected only three black senators in its history: Republican Edward Brooke of Massachusetts in 1966, and Democrats Carol Moseley Braun in 1992 and now-President Barack Obama in 2004, both of Illinois.