Reports: Gov. Nikki Haley Chooses Rep. Tim Scott to Replace DeMint
Selections ends weeks of intense speculation.
According to multiple media sources, Gov. Nikki Haley is set to name Rep. Tim Scott to replace Sen. Jim DeMint as South Carolina's junior senator. Earlier this month, in a surprise move, DeMint announced his resignation earlier this month to head up The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington, DC.
The appointment of Scott ends weeks of intense speculation. From the start, Scott was named as one of the favorites to succeed DeMint. Since being elected in 2010 as the representative out of the Lowcountry Scott has risen to national prominence as a dynamic speaker and potent fundraiser.
Haley left several clues about the selection over the last few weeks. She said she would not opt for a "placeholder" that would not have to seek re-election in 2014, which seemed to rule out Henry McMaster and David Wilkins. She also said previous political experience was not required, which seemed to open the door to former First Lady Jenny Sanford. Haley also took herself out of consideration early in the process.
But ultimately Haley chose Scott, a pick that will have few critics. "
"It’s a natural fit in every respect," according to Upstate political consultant Taft Matney. "We have an upstate Senator in Lindsay Graham and Scott would balance our representation geographically. He's also someone who is ideologically aligned with Sen. DeMint and Gov. Haley and they've said that's important.
Matney added, "We have to be honest and say that him being an African-American is a plus, but that's not why he's been selected. He's more than qualified."
A press conference is set for noon at the Statehouse.