Posted Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, at 10:08 AM
Rep. Tim Scott (R-SC) speaks during the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in August
Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is set to announce later today who she has chosen to succeed Republican Jim DeMint in the Senate, but it looks like GOP sources have already spilled the beans to political reporters in Washington (via the New York Times):
[Haley] has chosen Representative Tim Scott to replace Jim DeMint in the United States Senate, according to Republican officials. The move will make Mr. Scott the first black senator from the state since the late 19th century. Ms. Haley is expected to make her announcement at noon in South Carolina, according to officials.
DeMint announced early this month that he was quitting the Senate a few years earlier than planned to take a job at a powerful (and well-paying) conservative D.C. think thank. That left Haley to appoint a temporary successor, who will be well positioned to run in a special election in 2014 assuming he or she wants to stick around (something that in Scott's case is considered more or less a given).
Scott emerged as the near-instantaneous front-runner for the spot and while Haley publicly considered a handful of other candidates, including Jenny Sanford, there was little to suggest that the governor would go any other way than to tap Scott for the job.