Election 2010

Tim Scott Beats Strom Thurmond's Son In SC GOP House Race

Tim Scott

South Carolina state Rep. Tim Scott thanks supporters in North Charleston after defeating Paul Thurmond for the GOP nomination in the state's 1st Congressional District.  Bruce Smith/AP hide caption

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In a race that had several interesting racial facets to it, Tim Scott, an African American, beat the son of Strom Thurmond, one of South Carolina's most legendary politicians Tuesday, to gain the chance to be the first black congressional Republican since 2003.

Scott beat Paul Thurmond, a member of the Charleston city council and son of the long time U.S. senator who early in his political career became one of the most famous segregationists in American national politics.

Paul Thurmond

Paul Thurmond, son of the late South Carolina U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond,  Bruce Smith/AP hide caption

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The elder Thurmond was the nominee of the racist Dixiecrat Party which split off from the Democrats in 1948. Thurmond later abandoned his segregationist views and retired from the Senate at age 100. After his death, it was revealed that he had fathered a biracial daughter with an African American woman who had once worked as a domestic in his family's home.

Not only did Scott beat a competitor bearing one of the most famous names in modern South Carolina politics but by winning he also became the first black Republican nominee for a House seat from the South since Reconstruction after the Civil War.

If Scott wins in November, he would become the first black Republican in the House since J.C. Watts of Oklahoma left Congress seven years ago.



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