The Republican Party is poised to nominate and elect its first black Republican congressman from South Carolina in a century. State Rep. Tim Scott is the Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee-endorsed, black, anti-gay Tea Party conservative. Scott is the only black Republican expected to win this cycle and just "one of two or three given any chance at all," reports the Washington Post.
After placing first in the primary two weeks ago, Scott faces a runoff with Paul Thurmond in today's GOP House primary runoff. Thurmond is a member of the Charleston County Council and son of the late Sen. Strom Thurmond, who infamously ran for president in 1948 on the segregationist "Dixiecrat" ticket. After his death, it was discovered that at age 22 he fathered a child with his family's black maid.
The national GOP—hoping to elect its first black congressman since J.C. Watts (Okla.) left office in 2003—has thrown its support (and cash) behind Thurmond's opponent, state legislator Tim Scott. "Tim Scott deeply believes in what makes America and certainly South Carolina great -- faith, family and freedom," said former Arkansas governor and presidential contender Mike Huckabee, who on Friday became the latest national figure to throw his support behind Scott. Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin jumped in the next day. And although the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) is officially neutral in the race, two of its top leaders have given money to Scott's campaign.
On the candidate's website, Scott boasts: 'Tim Scott believes in the sanctity of traditional marriage between a man and a woman and opposes gay marriage." The candidate also opposes repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
Tim Scott also supported the GOP-dominated state legislature's proposal to slash the state's entire HIV/AIDS budget, including funding to the critical AIDS Drug Assistance Program. Columbia, SC has the 9th highest HIV rate in the nation. New seroconversions in the Carolinas are disproportionately young black gay and bisexual men. More at our pieces for Black AIDS Weekly, "Recession Forces States to Slash ADAP" and "New Data Reveal HIV Hammering Black Gay and Bisexual Men."