TheGrio’s 100: Tim Scott, beating the odds as black GOP congressman

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When Tim Scott took office on January 3, he became the first African-American Republican congressman from South Carolina since 1897. He is used to beating the odds. The 45-year-old’s single mother worked 16 hours a day to raise him and his brother in poverty in North Charleston, and his political win comes after distinct business success — Scott owns an insurance agency and is partner in S.C.-based Pathway Real Estate Group.

Tim Scott is making history … in a Congress seat that hasn’t held a black Republican since Reconstruction. He’s already been tapped by House Republicans to fill one of two freshman leadership roles in the House. The Tea Party ally is poised for his high-power political position; his segue into Congress comes after 13 years on Charleston County’s city council. Scott also served as honorary chairman for one of political icon Strom Thurmond’s Senate re-election bids. During Scott’s campaign for his new post, he gained endorsements from other Republican icons, including former Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee.

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What’s next for Tim?

Immigration reform tops Scott’s Congressional priorities; his campaign platform included bolstering enforcement of existing immigration laws, strengthening penalties for hiring undocumented workers and making English the national language.

In his own words …

“I think we have a responsibility to sell capitalism and entrepreneurship to folks in desperate straits,” Scott said in a recent interview with the AP. “If economically you feel yourself cut out of the American dream, I think it is our responsibility to go there and say it is alive, it is well and it is for you. Then it is their responsibility to do something with it.”

A little-known fact …

In January, Scott joined newly elected Allen West to become one of two black GOP congressmen to take office since J.C. Watts retired in 2003.

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