*With Tim Scott, the U.S. Senate now has a black Senator in it’s membership ranks again.
The last African American to serve in the upper house was Illinois Democrat Roland Burris, who, like Scott, was appointed to his seat.
Burris was selected by Governor Rod Blagojevich to replace then Senator Barack Obama, who of course ran for and became the country’s 44th president in 2008.
Scott was appointed Monday to the U.S. Senate seat that South Carolina’s Jim DeMint is vacating, making him, as we said, the only black member of the Senate and the first black Republican to serve in the chamber since 1979.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley tapped the Charleston congressman to serve the last two years of the term of DeMint, who is leaving the Senate to serve as president of the conservative Heritage Foundation, a Washington think tank. The appointment continues a rapid rise for Scott, 47, who was elected to the House two years ago after winning an intense primary that included the son of the late Strom Thurmond.
The appointment is not a surprise, as Scott is an ideal fit for seat. With Republicans just having lost an election in which more than 80 percent of non-white voters nationally backed Democrats, the party is looking to elevate minority figures. And in addition to his race, Scott holds strongly conservative views that have made him popular among the Tea Party Republicans who have embraced Haley and DeMint as well. He has been a strong opponent of President Obama’s agenda on nearly every issue, which will make him a controversial figure among African-Americans. Scott has pointedly refused to join the Congressional Black Caucus, which is comprised solely of Democrats.
“We have a spending problem, America,” Scott said in the press conference announcing his selection. “And you can take the revenue from the top two percent and you could not close off the deficit.”
Read/learn more at theGrio.