Before adultery charges were leveled against South Carolina’s GOP gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley, the Republican primary in the first congressional district was probably the state’s most exciting race. Nine candidates were duking it out for the GOP nod in this deep red district, including legendary Sen. Strom Thurmond’s son, Paul. But it was State Rep. Tim Scott, not Thurmond, who dominated the Republican field on Tuesday night, winning 32 percent of the vote. Since the winner of the GOP primary will stand a good chance of becoming the first district’s next representative in Congress, Scott could very well become the first black Republican in either chamber since former Rep. J.C. Watts retired in 2003.
Scott will still have to face Thurmond, who finished second with 16 percent, in a June 22 runoff. But Scott’s strict conservatism earned him the endorsement of the far-right Club for Growth, and that support could help carry him through the runoff as well.