Rep. Tim Scott has been chosen to replace U.S. Sen. Jim Demint when the Senate reconvenes next month.
The announcement was made at a press conference in Columbia at noon Monday.
Gov. Nikki Haley, who made the appointment, began her remarks by saying "there is no replacing Jim DeMint." She said he has "changed the face of South Carolina" but, she added, "this is a new day."
Scott will be the first African-American senator from South Carolina and the first from the South since Reconstruction.
Haley said she chose 45-year-old Scott because he understands the needs of the state's business community.
"He knows the need for deepening the ports. He knows the value of a dollar. He understands what families are going through," Haley said. "He knows every decision he will make will effect South Carolina."
Scott, who began his remarks with a moment of silence for the victims of the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, said he thanks his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for his new opportunity.
He said he is ready to fight for the changes that are needed in America.
"We need backbone. We need to make difficult decisions. We have a spending problem, not a revenue problem," Scott said. "It is a challenge to close the deficit."
DeMint, who is leaving the Senate to head the the Republican think tank Heritage Foundation, said having Scott take his place makes his decision to leave the Senate much easier.
"You inspired me since the first time I heard you speak in public," DeMint told Scott.
Scott, who will be sworn into office Jan. 3, said he plans to limit himself to two terms.
Scott was elected to the state's 1st congressional district in 2010. He will hold the Senate seat until 2014 then must seek reelection to continue to hold the seat until 2016.
Read more in Wednesday's Georgetown Times.
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