Welcome, my friends, to the least surprising political news of the week. Nikki Haley will appoint Rep. Tim Scott to replace Senator Jim DeMint in the US Senate, making Scott the upper chamber’s only African-American member, and give him a boost in the 2014 special election for the rest of DeMint’s term:
Multiple media sources are reporting that South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley will indeed name Rep. Tim Scott to be the next senator from South Carolina.
Scott will serve for two years, and then presumably run in a special election in 2014. If reelected, he would serve an additional two years (the remaining two years of the six-year term Jim DeMint was elected to in 2010) and then potentially run again for a full-six year term in 2016.
Also from Brother Jim at NRO comes this piece of ironic trivia:
Tim Scott beat Strom Thurmond’s son in the 2010 House primary. Now he will sit in the seat Thurmond once occupied. bit.ly/T2mv3t
— jimgeraghty (@jimgeraghty) December 17, 2012
The Charlotte Observer picked up the story a few minutes ago as well:
U.S. Rep. Tim Scott, who overcame poverty in North Charleston to build a successful business and political career, will be appointed today by Gov. Nikki Haley to the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Republican Jim DeMint, The New York Times and CNN reported this morning.
Haley has scheduled a noon news conference to announce her pick. DeMint and U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican from Seneca, are scheduled to attend.
That makes a lot of sense; DeMint reportedly went to bat for Scott as his replacement, and he’s likely to cheer the decision as the new head of the Heritage Foundation. His blessing will be seen as an important key for Haley.
That means that Haley will have to call a special election for Scott’s soon-to-be vacant seat. The election will have to be held in 18 weeks, with a primary in 11 weeks. Can SC-01 produce another clear conservative to replace Scott? We will soon find out. Regardless, this is a great choice for Haley, even if it was the only obvious choice.