South Carolina’s Tim Scott to be First Black Republican in Congress Since 2003

ABC News' Ray Sanchez reports:

South Carolina voters will send the first black Republican to Congress in seven years, ABC News has projected.

Tim Scott will become the first black Republican from the deep south since 1901.

The move isn’t surprising given South Carolina’s rich conservative tradition. But Scott ran in a district where white voters outnumbered blacks three to one. Scott, who defeated Democrat Ben Frasier in the state’s first congressional district, said he was proud to be endorsed by Sarah Palin and Tea Party groups.

"Absolutely, and if you believe in conservative government, if you believe in free market capitalism, if you believe in not spending money you don't have, you're a tea party member as well," Scott recently told ABC News.

Scott follows J.C. Watts, a black congressman from Oklahoma, first elected in 1994 and who retired in 2003. It remains to be seen whether Scott will be invited to join the traditionally Democratic Congressional Black Caucus.

Democrats dismiss the notion that 14 black candidates out of 435 house seats is a trend. When it comes to presidential politics, the numbers have been moving in the opposite direction -- George W. Bush received 11 percent of the black vote in 2004, while John McCain received just 4 percent in 2008.

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