Political Report Card: U.S. Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina
ROCK HILL, S.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – Senator Tim Scott is asking for your vote, but has he earned it? Chief Political Correspondent Emma Withrow has his Political Report Card.
Scott has represented South Carolina in the United States Senate since 2013, but his time in politics dates back much further. His political career kicked off in 1995 when he won an open at-large seat on the Charleston County Council.
He became the first black Republican elected to any office in South Carolina since the late 1800s.
“If you’re a black Republican, then you’re like a unicorn. So there’s not that many of you. So they just, it’s easy to stereotype us or typecast you into a small place. And nothing is further from the truth,” Scott explained.
Scott says his passion for his constituents is what pushed his political career further up the ladder. After serving on the County Council for 14 years, he went on to serve in the South Carolina State House, the United States Congress, and now the U.S. Senate.
“I had a great mentor, a guy named John Monese. He was a Citadel graduate, he was running a Chick-Fil-A near the North West Mall, and one of the lessons he taught me was that ‘Tim, you have to take responsibility for yourself. And after you do that, the first thing you should do is not ask someone to help you, but find ways to help them.’”
Now, after almost a decade in the U.S. Senate, Scott has kept his promise of addressing his voters’ concerns.
When it comes to reaching across the aisle, it’s no easy feat for most politicians these days. As a conservative republican, Scott has been able to achieve bipartisanship many times.
“When you find common ground, you’re usually using common sense. And so we’ve had a lot of success. My goal is to make friends not friends like in friendships, but friends like in people who are willing to work together credibly on issues that matter to others, and putting ourselves last is the best way to lead.”
According to Gov Track, Scott practices what he preaches. He was in the 71st percentile in writing bills co-sponsored by Democrats, compared to other Senate republicans.
Recently Scott went head to head with democrats during debates on the Voting Rights Bill. As one of only three black senators, Scott’s voice was elevated in the conversation.
“As a person who was born in 1965, with a mama who understands racism, discrimination and separate and not equal, the grandfather who I took to vote and helped him cast his vote because he was unable to read, to have a conversation in a narrative that is blatantly false is offensive. Not just to me or Southern Americans, but offensive to millions of Americans who fought bled and died for the right to vote.”
Scott argued the democrats were using voting rights legislation as a partisan power grab. But the issue of voting access has come up time and time again, especially in the South.
“I’m probably stronger on my position that we live in the greatest country ever designed on earth, and that this country has to be protected. And you do that by putting America before politics. And so if I walked away from anything, it’s that the dysfunction of Washington is driven by ego and partisanship.”
Going forward, Scott says he’s not going to be focusing on partisan politics, but rather the needs of South Carolinians.
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