The state’s Democratic Party took only two hours after today’s announcement to respond, though.
“We would like to congratulate Sen. Tim Scott on his historic appointment to the US Senate,” said Jaime Harrison, 1st Vice Chair of the South Carolina Democratic Party, in a 2:30 p.m. press release.
“We look forward to seeing Sen. Scott's decisions on legislation that will affect the people of South Carolina on a daily basis. We need to make sure our leaders help middle class families, educate our young people and continue to make sure that healthcare is affordable and available.”
As congressional representative of the state’s 1st District, Scott has consistently voted against labor interests and the Affordable Care Act, even sponsoring bills to restrict unions and to overturn the healthcare act.
“Finally,” Harrison’s statement continues, “in the wake of the shooting in Connecticut we hope that Senator Scott will follow the President's lead in realizing the necessity in developing ways to make sure the mentally ill are able to receive the correct healthcare and firearms don't end up in the hands of dangerous individuals.”
Scott has been an adamant supporter of gun rights, and co-sponsored many House bills to remove handgun restrictions including one that would prevent law enforcement from tracking individual purchases of multiple weapons.
“Sen. Scott has a big decision to make,” Harrison concludes. “Will he choose to be a statesman, fighting for the best interests of all South Carolinians or will he follow the model of Jim DeMint, allowing political ideology to trump constituent needs?
“Sen. Scott, the South Carolina Democratic Party and the people of this great state will be watching and awaiting your decision.”
On Dec. 6 DeMint announced he was resigning the office to be the new president of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think-tank in Washington D.C.
On Dec. 17, Haley announced Scott’s appointment to replace DeMint at a press conference in Columbia.
In 2014, Scott will have to be re-elected for the last two years of the six-year term.
Immediately after today’s press conference, he submitted email requests for donations to the upcoming campaign.