US midterm elections: Tim Scott becomes first African-American elected to the US Senate from the South since the civil war


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The Independent US

Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina tonight became the first black politician ever elected to the US Senate from the American South.

Charleston-born Scott, 49, is also the first African-American to win a state-wide election in South Carolina since the end of the American Civil War in 1865, and only the fifth ever elected to the US Senate. One of the other four was Barack Obama.

In fact, Mr Scott has been a senator since January 2013, when he was appointed by the state’s governor, Nikki Haley, after former Senator Jim DeMint resigned his seat to become president of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. And Mr Scott’s was not a narrow victory – he has been heavily favoured since the beginning of the campaign. His seat will be up for grabs again in 2016, when he is due to run for a complete term.


South Carolina’s senior senator, Mr Scott’s fellow Republican Lindsey Graham, also cruised to victory last night. A Tea Party favourite, Mr Scott will now be touted as one of the new faces of a party that is trying to rebrand itself as inclusive, alongside the likes of Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal and Florida Senator Marco Rubio. Yesterday’s US midterms also saw West Virginia elect its first ever female Senator, Shelley Moore Capito, another Republican.