Southern US state to get black senator

17:57, Dec 17 2012
Tim Scott
ACHIEVEMENT: Republican Tim Scott.

The US is getting its first black senator from the South in more than a century.

South Carolina Republican Governor Nikki Haley has picked US Rep. Tim Scott as the state's next senator.

He is the only black Republican in Congress. The decision was announced on Monday (local time) and makes him the South's first black Republican senator since the Reconstruction period shortly after the Civil War and only the fourth black Republican ever in the US Senate.

Scott takes over for Jim DeMint, who announced this month he would forgo the remaining four years of his term to take the helm of The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. His resignation takes effect January 1.

Scott will serve for two years. A special election will be held in 2014.

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AP