Wednesday, 19 August 2015


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 Tim Scott

Tim Scott
Tim Scott, official portrait, 113th Congress.jpg
United States Senator
from South Carolina
Assumed office
January 2, 2013[1]
Serving with Lindsey Graham
Preceded byJim DeMint
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Carolina's 1st district
In office
January 3, 2011 – January 2, 2013
Preceded byHenry Brown
Succeeded byMark Sanford
Member of the South Carolina House of Representatives
from the 117th district
In office
January 3, 2009 – January 3, 2011
Preceded byTom Dantzler
Succeeded byBill Crosby
Member of the Charleston County Council
from the 3rd district
In office
February 8, 1995 – January 3, 2009
Preceded byR. Keith Summey
Succeeded byElliott Summey
Personal details
BornTimothy Eugene Scott
September 19, 1965 (age 49)
North CharlestonSouth Carolina, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Alma materPresbyterian College
Charleston Southern University
WebsiteSenate website
Timothy Eugene "Tim" Scott (born September 19, 1965) is the junior United States Senator for South Carolina. A Republican, he was appointed as senator in 2013 after South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley named him to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Jim DeMint.[2] Scott ran in a special election in 2014 for the final two years of DeMint's second term, and won the seat.
In November 2010, Scott was elected to the United States House of Representatives for South Carolina's 1st congressional district, and served from 2011 to 2013. The first Republican African American Congressman from South Carolina since 1897,[3] Scott, a fiscal and cultural conservative, was endorsed by Tea Party groups.[4][5] He served one term in the South Carolina General Assembly(2009–2011); prior to that, he had been on the Charleston County Council from 1996 to 2008.[5][6]
Scott is one of two African Americans serving in the United States Senate, the first African American senator from the state of South Carolina, the first black Republican elected to the United States Senate since the defeat of Edward Brooke in 1979, and the first elected from the South since 1881, four years after the end of Reconstruction.[7][8] He is also the first African American to have been elected to both the House of Representatives and the Senate.[9]

Early life, education, and business career

Scott was born in North CharlestonSouth Carolina to Ben Scott, Sr. and Frances Scott,[10] a nursing assistant. His parents were divorced when he was 7. He grew up in working-class poverty, as his mother worked 16-hour days to support her family, including Tim's older brother.[5] His brother is a sergeant major in the U.S. Army.[11] Scott also has a second brother who is a Air Force Colonel.
Scott attended Presbyterian College from 1983 to 1984, on a partial football scholarship. He graduated from Charleston Southern University in 1988 with a B.S. in Political Science.[4][12]
In addition to his political career, Scott owns an insurance agency, Tim Scott Allstate,[13] and works as a financial adviser.[5]

Charleston County Council (1995–2008)


Scott ran in a February 1995 special election to the Charleston County Council at-large seat vacated by Keith Summey, who resigned his seat to become Mayor of North Charleston.[14][15] He won the seat, receiving nearly 80% of the vote in the white-majority district.[16] He became the first black Republican elected to any office in South Carolina since the late 19th century,[6] however, Scott was not the candidate of choice of voters in precincts with a majority of African Americans, who since 1934 have mostly voted for Democratic candidates. Scott served on the County Council for a time alongside Paul Thurmond, the son of the late Republican U.S. Senator, Strom Thurmond.[17]
In 1996, Scott challenged Democratic State Senator Robert Ford in South Carolina's 42nd Senate district, but lost 65%–35%.[4][18]
Scott won re-election to the County Council in 2000.[19] In 2004, he won re-election with 61% of the vote, defeating Democrat Elliot Summey (son of Mayor Keith Summey).[20][21]


Scott served on the Council from 1995 until 2008, becoming Chairman in 2007.[10] In 1997, Scott supported posting the Ten Commandments outside the county council chambers, saying it would remind members of the absolute rules they should follow. The county council unanimously approved the display, and Scott nailed a King James version of the Commandments to the wall. Shortly after, the ACLU and Americans United for Separation of Church and State sued. After an initial court ruling that the display was unconstitutional, the council settled out of court to avoid accruing more legal fees.[22] Regarding the costs of the suit, Scott said, "Whatever it costs in the pursuit of this goal (of displaying the Commandments) is worth it."[22]
In January 2001, the US Department of Justice sued Charleston County, South Carolina for racial discrimination under the Voting Rights Act based on its having all its council seats elected by at-large districts. This tends to dilute the votes of a minority group. DOJ had attempted to negotiate with county officials in November 2000. Justice officials noted that at-large seats dilute the voting strength of the significant African American minority in the county, who in 2000 comprised 34.5% of the population; and they have been unable to elect "candidates of their choice." Whites or European Americans comprise 61.9 percent of the population in the county.[23] Since the late 20th century, the majority-white voters have elected Republican Party candidates. County officials noted that the majority of voters had approved the at-large seats by a popular referendum in 1989.[24]
Scott, the only African American member of the county council, has said about this case and single-member districts,
"I don't like the idea of segregating everyone into smaller districts. Besides, the Justice Department assumes that the only way for African Americans to have representation is to elect an African American, and the same for whites. Obviously, my constituents don't think that's true."[24]
The DOJ officials noted that the voting preference issue is not a question of ethnicity; voters in black precincts in the county had rejected Scott as a candidate for the council; the candidate of their choice was the Democratic Party at-large candidate. The suit noted that historically, black and white precincts in Charleston County have consistently supported different candidates for the Council. It noted that, because of the white majority, "white bloc voting usually results in the defeat of candidates who are preferred by black voters."[24] Blacks live in compact areas of the county and could comprise the majority in three districts if the county seats were apportioned as nine single-member districts.[24]

Committee assignments

  • Economic Development Committee (Chair)[25]

South Carolina House of Representatives (2009–2011)[edit]


In 2008, incumbent Republican State Representative Tom Dantzler decided to retire. Scott ran for his seat in District 117 of the South Carolina House of Representatives and won the Republican primary with 53% of the vote, defeating Bill Crosby and Wheeler Tillman.[26] He won the general election unopposed,[27] becoming the first Republican African American representative from South Carolina in more than 100 years.[28][29]


Scott supports the state's Right-to-work laws and argued that Boeing chose South Carolina for that reason.[30]
In South Carolina Club for Growth's 2009–2010 scorecard, Scott earned a B and a score of 80 out of 100.[31] He was praised by the South Carolina Association of Taxpayers, for his “diligent, principled and courageous stands against higher taxes.”[32]

Committee assignments

  • Judiciary
  • Labor, Commerce and Industry
  • Ways and Means[33]

United States House of Representatives (2011–2013)


Scott entered the election for lieutenant governor before switching to the race for South Carolina's 1st congressional district following the retirement announcement of Republican incumbent Henry Brown. The 1st district is based in Charleston, and includes approximately the northern 3/4 of the state's coastline (except for Beaufort and Hilton Head Island, which are included in the 2nd District since redistricting).[34]
Scott ranked first in the nine-candidate Republican primary of June 8, 2010, receiving a plurality of 32% of the vote.[35] Fellow Charleston County Councilman Paul Thurmond, son of U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond, ranked second with 16% of the vote. Carroll A. Campbell III, the son of former Governor Carroll A. Campbell, Jr., ranked third with 14% of the vote.[17][36] Charleston County School Board member Larry Kobrovsky ranked fourth with 11% of the vote. Five other candidates had single digit percentages.[37]
Because no candidate had received 50 percent or more of the vote, a runoff was held on June 22, 2010. Scott faced off against Paul Thurmond. Scott was endorsed by fiscally conservative Club for Growth,[38] various Tea Party movement groups, former Alaska Governor and Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin,[5][39] Republican House Whip Eric Cantor,[40] former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee,[41] South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint, and the founder of the Minuteman Project.[4] Scott defeated Thurmond[42] 68%–32% and won every county in the congressional district.[43][44]
According to the Associated Press, Scott "swamped his opponents in fundraising, spending almost $725,000 during the election cycle to less than $20,000 for his November opponents".[5] He won the general election, defeating Democrat Ben Frasier 65%–29%.[45] With this election, Scott and Allen West of Florida became the first African American Republicans in Congress since J.C. Watts retired in 2003.[46] Scott also became the first African American Republican elected to Congress from South Carolina in 114 years,.[3]
Scott was unopposed in the primary and won the general election, defeating Democrat Bobbie Rose 62%–36%.[47][48]


Congressman Scott's official 112th Congress portrait
Congressman Scott, one of two African American Republicans elected to the House in 2010, declined to join the Congressional Black Caucus.[49]
In March 2011, Scott co-sponsored a welfare reform bill that would deny food stamps to families whose incomes were lowered to the point of eligibility because a family member was participating in a labor strike.[50][51] He introduced legislation in July 2011 to strip the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) of its power to prohibit employers from relocating to punish workers who join unions or strike.[52] The rationale for the legislation is that government agencies should not be able to tell private employers where they can run a business.[52] Scott described the legislation as a common sense proposal that would fix a flaw in federal labor policy and benefit the national and local economies.[52] The NLRB had recently opposed the relocation of a Boeing production facility from Washington state to South Carolina.[52]
Scott successfully advocated for federal funds for a Charleston harbor dredging project estimated at $300 million, arguing that the project is neither an earmark nor an example of wasteful government spending.[53] He said the project was merit-based, and in the national interest because larger cargo ships could use the port and jobs would be created.[53]
During the summer 2011 debate over raising the U.S. debt ceiling, Scott supported the inclusion of a balanced budget constitutional amendment in the debt ceiling bill, and opposed legislation that did not include the amendment. Before voting "no" on the final bill to raise the U.S. debt ceiling, Scott and other first-term conservatives prayed for guidance in a congressional chapel. Afterward, Scott asserted that he had received divine inspiration regarding his vote, and joined the rest of the South Carolina congressional delegation in voting "no" on the measure.[54][55]
  • Taxes and spending – Scott believes that federal spending and taxes should be reduced,[4] with a Balanced Budget Amendment and the FairTax respectively being implemented for spending and taxes.
  • Health care – Scott believes the 2010 health care reform law should be repealed.[4][56][57] Scott states that the health care in the U.S. is one of the greatest in the world,[57]stating that people all over the world come to study in American medical schools, waiting lists are rare, and Americans are able to choose their insurance, providers, and course of treatment.[57] Scott supports an alternative to the health care bill that he says keeps these benefits while controlling costs by reforming the medical tort system by having a limit on non-economic damages[57] and by reforming Medicare.[57] In January 2014 Scott signed an amicus brief in support of Senator Ron Johnson's legal challengeagainst the U.S. Office of Personnel Management's Affordable Care Act ruling.[58][59][60]
  • Earmarks – Scott opposes earmarks, and yet he successfully advocated for federal funds for a Charleston harbor dredging project estimated at $300 million.[4]
  • Economic development – He supports infrastructure development and public works for his district.[4] He opposes restrictions on deepwater oil drilling.[4]
  • Social issues – Scott describes himself as pro-life. Scott supports adult and cord blood stem cell research.[61] He opposes embryonic stem cell research funded by taxpayers.[62] He opposes the creation of human embryos for experimentation.[63] and opposes assisted suicide.[61] Scott opposes same-sex marriage.[64]
  • Immigration – Scott supports federal legislation that is similar to the Arizona law, Arizona SB 1070.[65] He supports strengthening penalties for employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants.[65] He also promotes cultural assimilation by making English the official language in the government, and by requiring new immigrants to learn English.[65]
  • Labor – Scott introduced a bill which would deny food stamps to families whose incomes were lowered to the point of eligibility because a family member was participating in a labor strike.[66]
  • Foreign Policy – Scott advocates a continued military presence in Afghanistan and believes an early withdrawal will benefit Al-Qaeda. He also views Iran as the world's most dangerous country and believes that the US should aid pro-democracy groups there.[67] Scott opposed the 2011 military intervention in Libya.[68]
  • Police body cameras – After the Shooting of Walter Scott (no relation), Scott urged the Senate to hold hearings on police body cameras.[69]


As a Representative, Scott sponsored thirty-six bills, including:[70]
  • H.R. 698, a bill to deauthorize funding for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the health-care related provisions of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, introduced February 14, 2011
  • H.R. 937, a bill to reduce the federal corporate income tax from 35% to 23%, introduced March 4, 2011
  • H.R. 1976, a bill to provide that an employer's expression or written dissemination of views, argument, or opinion regarding the costs associated with collective bargaining, work stoppages, or strikes shall not constitute an unfair labor practice if such expression contains no threat of reprisal or force or promise of benefit, introduced May 24, 2011
  • H.R. 2587, a bill to deny the National Labor Relations Board the power to 1) require employers to restore or reinstate any work, product, production line, or equipment, 2) rescind any relocation, transfer, subcontracting, outsourcing, or other change regarding the location, entity, or employer who shall be engaged in production or other business operations, or 3) require any employer to make an initial or additional investment at a particular plant, facility, or location, introduced September 15, 2011
  • H.R. 2810, a bill to prohibit labor organizations from prohibiting their members from selecting individuals to collectively bargain on their behalf, introduced August 5, 2011
  • H.R. 4015, a bill to repeal the Conservation Stewardship Program, introduced February 13, 2012
In addition to the bills listed above, on May 15, 2012, Scott introduced more than two dozen bills that would temporarily lift or extend tariffs on various chemicals.

Committee assignments

Scott was appointed by the House Republican Steering Committee to both the Committee on Transportation and the Committee on Small Business.[71] He was later appointed to the powerful Committee on Rules and relinquished his other two committee assignments.

United States Senate

2014 election

Senator Tim Scott speaking at the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland.
Scott ran in November 2014 to win the final two years of DeMint's term and won. He said that he will seek re-election in 2016 to a full six-year term.


On December 17, 2012, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley announced she would appoint Scott to replace retiring Senator Jim DeMint, who had previously announced that he would retire from the Senate to become the President of The Heritage Foundation.[2] Scott is the first African American to serve as US Senator from South Carolina. In addition, Scott was one of two black senators in the 113th Congressalongside Mo Cowan (and the first since senator Roland Burris retired in 2010 after succeeding President Barack Obama), and is the first African American Senator to serve from the Southern United States since Reconstruction[72] due to disfranchisement of blacks across the South from 1890 to 1908 by new state constitutions.
It was reported that Scott, along with Rep. Trey Gowdy, former South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster, former First Lady of South Carolina Jenny Sanford, and Director of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control Catherine Templeton, were on Governor Haley's short list to replace Sen. DeMint.[73] In her decision to pick Scott, Governor Haley said: "It is important to me, as a minority female, that Congressman Scott earned this seat, he earned this seat for the person that he is. He earned this seat with the results he has shown."[74]

Committee assignments

Personal life

Scott is unmarried.[10] He owns an insurance agency and he is also a partner in Pathway Real Estate Group, LLC.[6] Scott is a devout evangelical Christian.[75][76][77] He is a member of Seacoast Church, a large evangelical church in Charleston, and is a former member of that church's board. Republican leadership has praised Scott's background as an example of achieving the American dream according to a conservative model.[78]

Electoral history

General election 2008 – South Carolina General Assembly 117th District[79]
RepublicanTim Scott9,08099.27
Total votes9,147100
Voter turnout76.02%
Republican Primary – 2010 1st Congressional District of South Carolina[80]
RepublicanTim Scott25,45731.49
RepublicanPaul Thurmond13,14916.26
RepublicanCarroll Campbell11,66514.43
RepublicanLarry Kobrovsky8,52110.54
RepublicanClark B Parker6,7698.37
RepublicanStovall Witte7,1928.90
RepublicanKatherine Jenerette3,8494.76
RepublicanMark Lutz3,2374.0
RepublicanKen Glasson1,0061.24
Total votes80,845100
Voter turnout24.11%
Republican Primary Runoff – 2010 1st Congressional District of South Carolina[81]
RepublicanTim Scott46,88568
RepublicanPaul Thurmond21,70632
2010 1st Congressional District of South Carolina Elections[45]
RepublicanTim Scott152,75565.37
DemocraticBen Frasier67,00828.67
Voter turnout51.89%