Tim Scott celebrates his election to the U.S. House in North Charleston, S.C., on Nov. 2, 2010.
(USA TODAY) -- South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley reportedly will tap Rep. Tim Scott to replace outgoing GOP Sen. Jim DeMint, according to The New York Times.
appointment would be historic: He would be the first African American
to represent South Carolina in the U.S. Senate since Reconstruction. The
Times report cites Republican officials as the source.
will announce her choice to replace DeMint, an influential conservative
and Tea Party leader, Monday at noon at the statehouse in South
Carolina. She'll be accompanied by Sen. Lindsey Graham, the state's
senior U.S. senator and a fellow Republican.
Haley reportedly had
been considering five candidates: congressmen Scott and Trey Gowdy, both
elected in the Tea Party wave of 2010; former first lady Jenny Sanford,
former attorney general Henry McMaster and Catherine Templeton, head of
the state Department of Health Environmental Control.
resigning in January to become president of the Heritage Foundation, a
conservative think tank. His replacement will serve until a special
election is held in 2014.
State law gives Haley sole authority to
appoint a replacement for DeMint, who was first elected in 2004 and is
leaving before his second term ends in 2016. The appointment holds major
political weight for Haley, who has low approval ratings and is up for
re-election in 2014.
The appointment sets in motion a series of
events, which will make 2014 a busy year for Palmetto State politics.
Both Haley and Graham, the state's senior U.S. senator, are on the
ballot in 2014.