Republican Congressman Tim Scott, a black pro-life advocate, will replace pro-life Sen. Jim DeMint in the U.S. Senate, after DeMint stepped down to take over as the head of the conservative Heritage Foundation.
Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina announced today that she chose Representative Tim Scott to replace Jim DeMint in the United States Senate, a move which makes him the first black senator from the South in decades. Scott will serve until a special election is held in 2014.
Like DeMint, Scott is a staunch pro-life advocate who has a 100 percent pro-life voting record with the National Right to Life Committee. This year, Scott voted to stop abortion funding in Obamacare, de-Fund the Planned Parenthood abortion business, and stop taxpayer funding of abortion in various instances. He voted for a ban on sex-selection abortions, for enforcing parental notification laws, to repeal Obamacare, and to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy in the District of Columbia.
DeMint applauded the selection of the pro-life Congressman.
“Governor Haley has made a great choice for South Carolina and the nation,” said Senator DeMint. “Tim Scott is a principled leader and will make an outstanding senator for the people of the South Carolina and an important voice for conservatives across the nation. I’ve known Tim for years and am confident he will serve our state with honor and distinction. He’s become a good friend who I know he cares deeply about the future of our nation and will fight to increase freedom and opportunity for everyone. I will do everything I can over the next days and weeks to ensure the transition is smooth and that Tim has everything he needs from my office to hit the ground running. I also want to express my thanks to Governor Haley, as she went through a thoughtful and deliberative process and has again proven why she’s a trusted conservative leader for our state.”
Leading pro-life groups were also delighted by the selection.
“Congressman Tim Scott’s rise to the U.S. Senate is great news to both the country and the pro-life movement,” said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “At a point where our nation is hungry for leadership, Congressman Scott has demonstrated compassion and clarity on the abortion issue, never backing down when asked the tough questions. He has made it clear that defending the most vulnerable is an indispensible first principle in his own political philosophy. We applaud Governor Haley for this choice and look forward to Tim Scott’s pro-life leadership in the U.S. Senate.”
In 2010, then candidate Tim Scott outlined the development of his political positions and party allegiance to The Weekly Standard, which wrote: “As he tells it, Scott became a Republican in three stages. First, there was the military influence… Second, there was his becoming a Christian in college. That turned him into a social conservative and strong foe of legalized abortion. This, too, turned him toward Republicans, he says.”
The New York Times provided a profile of Scott:
Scott offers a unique story and background, one that is in scant supply in the Republican party right now. Raised by a single mother, he was, by his account, a lost child who struggled with school and with life until a Chick-fil-A franchise owner took him on as a protégé and schooled him in conservative principles.
“Coming from a single-parent household and almost flunking out of high school,” Mr. Scott said in 2010, during his bid for the House, “my hope is I will take that experience and help people bring out the best that they can be.”
Although Republicans by a large margin have far fewer minorities and women in Congress than Democrats, the party, with Monday’s announcement, will now be able to claim the only current African-American member of the Senate, as well as two of the three Latinos.
DeMint has been one of the solid pro-life lawmakers in the Senate, where pro-abortion Democrats currently control the chamber. He has been counted on for not only votes but his leadership on pro-life bills and amendments. DeMint, from South Carolina, announced that he will leave the Senate at the beginning of January to become the next president of The Heritage Foundation, a conservative policy group that takes a pro-life position on abortion.
DeMint has also been active in helping conservative Congressional candidates and was the first to endorse Marco Rubio of Florida in his 2010 Senate bid.
“It’s been an honor to serve the people of South Carolina in United States Senate for the past eight years, but now it’s time for me to pass the torch to someone else and take on a new role in the fight for America’s future,” he said.
DeMint added: “I’m leaving the Senate now, but I’m not leaving the fight. I’ve decided to join The Heritage Foundation at a time when the conservative movement needs strong leadership in the battle of ideas. No organization is better equipped to lead this fight and I believe my experience in public office as well as in the private sector as a business owner will help Heritage become even more effective in the years to come.”
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“I’m humbled to follow in the footsteps of Ed Feulner, who built the most important conservative institution in the nation. He has been a friend and mentor for years and I am honored to carry on his legacy of fighting for freedom,” he continued. “My constituents know that being a Senator was never going to be my career. I came to Congress as a citizen legislator and I’ve always been determined to leave it as citizen legislator. South Carolina has a deep bench of conservative leaders and I know Governor Haley will select a great replacement.”
“One of the most rewarding things I’ve done in the Senate is work with the grassroots to help elect a new generation of leaders who have the courage to fight for the principles of freedom that make this country so great. I’m confident these senators will continue the legacy of conservative leaders before them,” he said.