Saying that her choice understands the business sector and is the "right U.S. senator for our state and our country," South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley named Republican Rep. Tim Scott to replace the retiring Sen. Jim DeMint (also a Republican) at a noontime news conference today.
After asking those gathered at the state capitol to pause for a moment of silence to honor the victims of Friday's shootings in Newtown, Conn., Scott said he's honored and excited "for many, many reasons."
First elected to the House in 2010, the 47-year-old Scott will be the only African-American in the Senate. He'll need to run for a full term in the Senate in 2014.
Our original post and earlier update — S.C. Governor To Name Sen. DeMint's Replacement Today:
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) plans to announce at noon ET her choice of successor for retiring Republican Sen. Jim DeMint, her spokesman tells The Associated Press.
DeMint, a Tea Party favorite, announced earlier this month that he's stepping down to become president of the conservative Heritage Foundation.
As The Hill writes: "South Carolina Republican Reps. Tim Scott and Trey Gowdy have regularly been mentioned as possible replacements for DeMint. ... Former South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster (R) and Catherine Templeton, who heads the state's Department of Health and Environmental Control, are also on Haley's shortlist."
There's also been talk that former South Carolina first lady Jenny Sanford might be Haley's choice.
And then there's the not-so-serious speculation about Stephen Colbert.
Update at 10:25 a.m. ET. Scott?
The New York Times says Haley has chosen Scott, according to "three Republican officials." CNN is also reporting that news.
As The State adds, "Scott, 47, would become the first black U.S. senator from the South since Blanche Bruce of Mississippi in 1881."